West Side principal Dunlap reassigned; Blount named to fill post
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/648-3154 September 25, 2012 9:34PM
Updated: October 27, 2012 6:21AM
GARY — Vera Blount is the new principal at West Side Leadership Academy, following a unanimous vote of the School Board on Tuesday.
Blount replaces Judy Dunlap who has been reassigned to the central office, Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said.
No reason for the change was given during the meeting. School Board President Darren Washington, who heads the personnel committee, declined to talk about the reassignment.
Pruitt said Dunlap, who’s been principal at West Side since 2009, will be an “administrator on assignment.” She said Dunlap will assist in curriculum preparation at each school and will work in the central office. Dunlap is also the former principal of Wirt High School.
Blount, who was one of four assistant principals at West Side, was principal of the Lew Wallace STEM Academy and the former Bailly Middle School and dean of students at Lew Wallace.
At the onset of school last month, West Side was plagued with student scheduling problems. Parents complained that West Side staff members seemed unfamiliar with new software and they were rude to parents. There were also problems at a home football game that had to be moved to Andrean High School because referees had not been contracted.
Parents, meanwhile, continue to rail Tuesday against problems with school transportation.
Banneker Achievement Center parent Juanna Delay-Bogard made her own accountability chart with school board members’ names on it and held it up during her remarks.
She said the bus to take her first-grader to school has either not come or has been late since Thursday. “When will we get some consistency? It seems to be changing every 48 hours,” she said of bus routes.
Washington said he’s just as frustrated as parents. “I pray every morning at 5 a.m. that our children get to school on time,” he said. Washington said the state is now monitoring the bus situation. “Legal questions are coming up. We will rectify it.”
Chief financial officer Nikita-Johnson White painted a dire 2013 budget picture, saying $22 million needs to be cut from the proposed $124.7 million budget. Final adoption by the board is Oct. 23. The cuts must be made by Dec. 31.