JPPSS Announces New Principal Appointments for 2018-19

The Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) today announced new school leader appointments for the 2018-2019 school year.

“We are excited to have such a committed and talented group of leaders to help lead our schools next year,” said Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “Strong instructional leadership is incredibly challenging work, but it is what our students and staff need to be successful. As leaders play a vital role in student success, I have a strong belief that this group will push our students and teachers to succeed at high levels.”

JPPSS conducted a rigorous multi-step selection process. Meet-and-greet events will be held at each school in order to give staff an opportunity to meet their newly-appointed leader.

The new school leader appointments are as follows:

  • Adams Middle: Jason Beber joins the JPPSS family after serving St. John the Baptist Parish as a principal, assistant principal, teacher, and coach. He was named the district’s 2017-2018 elementary and middle school principal of the year as the principal of Lake Ponchartrain Elementary.
  • Birney Elementary: Debbie Dantin steps into her new role as principal of Birney Elementary with a strong background in elementary educational leadership and over 20 years of experience. She was previously the principal at Fisher Middle-High.
  • Dolhonde Elementary: Angela Bradley has a strong, diverse teaching background with students in every elementary grade and across a wide range of content areas. An educator for 11 years, she’s been a bilingual teacher at Riviere Elementary since 2014.
  • Ellender School: Cherie Varisco has been named principal of Ellender School after serving there in an acting role this past school year. Prior to last school year, Varisco spent four years as assistant principal and one year as dean of students at Ellender. Her other leadership roles include principal of Terrytown Elementary, assistant principal and dean at West Jefferson High, and dean at Gretna Middle.
  • Fisher Middle-High: Dawn Matherne brings a wealth of experience as an educational leader into her new role at Fisher Middle-High. This past school year, she was the principal of T.H. Harris Middle. Prior to 2017-18, Matherne served as the principal of Ellender School.
  • Ford Middle: Lashana Pollard-Hill comes to JPPSS from Tangipahoa Parish, where she spent the past two years as assistant principal of Ponchatoula Junior High. During her 15 years in education, Pollard-Hill has served as an interim principal, master teacher, and coach.
  • Gretna Middle: Duane Foret is a JPPSS graduate who has over 20 years of experience in the district. Foret served as the acting principal of Gretna Middle this past school year. His other leadership roles include assistant principal at Higgins High and dean of student services and athletic director at Fisher Middle-High.
  • Hart Elementary: Javonne Matthews served as the acting principal at Hart Elementary for part of the 2017-2018 school year. She’s been with JPPSS since 2003 and previously served as the assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at West Jefferson High, the dean of student services at Grace King High, and a teacher at Gretna Middle.
  • Meisler Middle: Vicki Jarrell joins JPPSS from Westerville City Schools in Ohio, where she has five years of experience as a principal, four as an assistant principal, and five as the district’s K-12 Gifted Coordinator. Prior to Westerville, Jarrell served St. Tammany Parish as a counselor and teacher. In all, she’s spent nearly 30 years in education and is excited to be serving students in Louisiana once again.
  • Miller Wall Elementary: Brenda DeGraw joins the Miller Wall family after serving as the assistant principal at C.T. Janet Elementary. Some of her other leadership experience include roles as a TAP Master Teacher, grade chair, screening specialist, and technology coordinator. DeGraw brings over two decades of classroom experience to her new role.
  • Roosevelt Middle: Alexia Thompson has spent the past five years as a literacy coach, library media specialist, and teacher at Marrero Middle. She worked with the administration there to develop school-wide goals and professional development for staff. Thompson has also observed and mentored teachers in conjunction with the School Leadership Center.
  • T.H. Harris Middle: Brenda Hubbard has a wealth of experience as a bilingual educational leader. She served as an assistant principal of Riverdale High the past five years and has two years of experience as a JPPSS summer school principal and academic dean. Hubbard’s 13 years as a classroom teacher includes community college, dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate, and special education.
  • Woodmere Elementary: Cecily White joins the JPPSS family after serving as the assistant head of school at McDonogh 42 Charter School since 2016. Along with her work as a classroom teacher, White has experience as a resident principal, assistant principal, school leader, and division head. She has served students and families in the New Orleans area, Houston, and Miami.
  • Bonnabel Connections: Donna Donahoe will be the director at Bonnabel Connections and has served the students of John Ehret High as assistant principal of curriculum for six years. This past school year, she was an assistant principal at Marrero Middle. Donahoe is a National Board Certified Teacher who has proudly served JPPSS since 1996.