MONUMENT • Lewis-Palmer Elementary School and Palmer Ridge High School both have new leadership coming for next school year.
The Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board of Education recently approved the hire of two new school principals to start overseeing their respective buildings starting in the 2021-2022 academic year. During a virtual meeting of the board March 15, board members unanimously approved the contracts to hire Davonne Johnson as principal of Lewis-Palmer Elementary School and Adam Frank as principal of Palmer Ridge High School.
District Superintendent KC Somers introduced both the candidate selections, giving a background on each of them.
Johnson is a longtime employee of D-38, beginning her career as an elementary school teacher at Prairie Winds Elementary. Presently, Johnson serves as the district’s learning services curriculum coordinator which has involved taking responsibilities with the homeschool enrichment academy as its principal.
“She wears so many hats, and she wears them all well,” Somers said. “The [hiring] advisory team saw her passion for students and student learning as well as having the community really close to her heart. … We’re really excited about her.”
Johnson said she has been overwhelmed throughout the previous week with emails and phone calls of support from around the district, including support from exiting LPES principal Jenny Day.
“It has been just remarkable,” Johnson said. “The welcome I’ve received from the school staff and community has been something I have never seen, and I couldn’t be more excited to step into this role.”
Board Treasurer Ron Schwartz said he has also received an influx of parents call him excited about Johnson’s new role at the elementary school and was pleased to see her move up the ranks of the district.
Board Vice President Theresa Phillips said she was grateful for the focus which Johnson in her previous roles demonstrated for each individual she worked with whether its staff, teachers or students.
Chris Taylor, board president, said one of the challenges created by Johnson stepping into the position was finding a replacement for everything she does in her present role.
Frank comes to Monument from Ohio, and is in the process of locating and purchasing a home in Colorado.
Somers said Frank comes with high expectations for student learning and both in terms of academic achievement and student development as a whole. In his career in education, he has held many roles, including social studies teacher, ice hockey coach, assistant principal and athletic director.
Frank recently completed his doctorate program in educational leadership and is on his way to becoming a published author.
“There’s a lot of insight and wisdom that he is also bringing into this particular role,” Somers said.
Frank said the rigorous hiring process involved a positive vibe and he enjoyed seeing students from the advisory committee participate in the interview as well. He noted that he has family in the Denver area.
Board member Matthew Clawson said looking at Frank’s resume he could see Frank would be a great fit for Palmer Ridge and could help the school reach new levels.
“We do appreciate not only [Frank’s] willingness to come to the district, but his eagerness,” Taylor said.
Frank said he realized what a small world he lived in as he announced to his present staff of the move to Monument. He learned several people in his circle had connections to Monument and even had relatives with children attending Palmer Ridge.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the students,” he said.