HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Butler High School will have a new principal this fall, the school’s third leadership change in three years.
This year has seen several instances of highly publicized dissatisfaction with the admittedly struggling school from parents and students alike. Allegations ranged from safety concerns to teachers describing being “forced to pass students so they could graduate” as described in a notebook filled with complaints provided to WHNT News 19 earlier in the year.
Thursday the Huntsville school board voted to move the current principal, Lisa Hachar, to University Place Elementary School. The board appointed Sanchella Graham, principal of Chaffee Elementary, to replace Hachar as Butler’s principal. Graham has led Chaffee Elementary since 2011.
“It’s about getting the right leader for the right situation,” says Superintendent Casey Wardynski.
Wardynski says Hachar’s transfer is unrelated to recent complaints about her leadership at Butler. He said he made the decision to move Hachar, who came to Huntsville from New York, based on her previous work in elementary education.
“She’s dealt with some pretty challenging school situations and we asked her to take the leadership position at Butler for us and she’s done a great job. We probably saw 20 percent more kids walk across the stage this year from Butler than we saw before and a lot of it was simple leadership,” Wardynski explains.
The superintendent says Hacher will lead University Place through the changes anticipated there over the next three years.
“Lisa’s passion is elementary. When she was in New York she had run a large elementary school for 8 years.”
Wardynski says that type of experience will be needed for the new University Place Elementary. A replacement for the school – and for the shuttered Terry Heights Elementary – is being built on the Terry Heights campus on Barbara Drive. It is anticipated to open in 2016.