Patricia Pride will serve as interim principal at Stoddert Elementary for the 2012-2013 school year, Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced in a letter to parents Thursday. The announcement comes two days after to the principal selection process already underway.
Henderson wrote that the short period of time in which to find an appropriate candidate prompted her decision. Principal Dr. Marjorie Cuthbert announced June 21 that she would be leaving her role at Stoddert effective Aug. 3 to help care for the family of her deceased daughter in Wisconsin.
The Stoddert community
"We're obviously disappointed that we're in this situation" wrote PTA co-president Caitlin Oppenheimer in an email to Patch Wednesday. "But we trust that DCPS felt that there was not an optimal set of candidates to present to the Stoddert community," she added.
Though Henderson made the call to appoint an interim without consulting the selection committee or the PTA, in her letter she wrote that the decision "was based on your input regarding what you want for the school moving forward."
Pride comes to Stoddert after having spent the past year serving as an interim principal at Jefferson Middle School in Southwest D.C. She also served as an assistant principal at Roosevelt Senior High School.
According to Henderson's letter, prior to becoming an administrator Price "worked directly with students in special education, Advanced Placement and general education as a science teacher, history teacher and dean of students."
In a June 12 letter to parents at Jefferson MS, Henderson said she would speak with Pride to "explore other DCPS opportunities for her next steps." Nine days later Cuthbert resigned.
Henderson also used her letter to the Stoddert community to explain the role of an interim principal and her involvement in the school:
"We use the interim principal title for individuals who are appointed without community input, typically gathered through the panel process. Ms. Pride will have all the duties and responsibilities of a principal and will also be considered for the position beyond this school year."
Henderson had high praise for Stoddert's new interim leader.
"Ms. Pride has impressed me with her service to the DCPS community. I am confident that her educational and leadership experiences have prepared her for this opportunity to continue the progress you have made with your students."
Pride will officially being her appointment Aug. 6.