GTMS to see new leadership this fall

Published 12:54 am Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Jessica Harding has served as principal of Georgie D. Tyler Middle School for the past four years but won’t be returning to that role this fall.

In her place will be Kristy Buggs, who previously served as assistant principal at Windsor Elementary and currently serves in that same role in Carrollton.

Harding will be leaving the school division to assume a central office position at Loudoun County Public Schools, where she has been named supervisor of equity and culturally responsive instruction.

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GTMS will also have a new assistant principal this fall, Jason Wheeler. Wheeler currently serves in that same role at Smithfield High School. His predecessor at GTMS, Kristen Wilkins, will be moving to Isle of Wight County Schools’ central office, where she will serve as the division’s new coordinator of special education. The current coordinator, Ralph Freeman, is retiring June 30.

“After having served the Windsor community for five years as an administrator, I am excited to begin this new journey with Loudoun County Public Schools,” Harding said. “I will miss the Windsor community dearly and am grateful for my time there.”

“I am pleased to announce Mrs. Buggs as principal of Georgie Tyler Middle,” said IWCS Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton. “She has grown into a strong instructional leader who is passionate about establishing a positive, inclusive school culture where every child is loved and appreciated.”

Buggs has 12 years of teaching experience, including positions with Suffolk Public Schools and the State College Area School District in Pennsylvania prior to joining IWCS. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies at Norfolk State University and her Master of Education in school administration from Cambridge College.

Taking over for Wheeler as Smithfield High’s new assistant principal will be Wayne Briggs, who comes to Isle of Wight from Portsmouth Public Schools, where he served as an assistant principal since January of this year. He has a combined total of 15 years’ experience at Dinwiddie County Public Schools, Newport News Public Schools, York County School Division and as a health and physical education teacher and coach for various sports. Briggs has a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies and a Master of Science in health and physical education from Virginia Tech. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership at Liberty University.

Taking over for Buggs at Carrollton Elementary will be Lisa White, who has served as an assistant principal since 2016 with Hampton Public Schools. Prior to that, she taught for 13 years at various schools in Hampton. White earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education at Clarion University and her Master of Science in education from Old Dominion University.