Summer Promotions Announced

Retirements, resignations lead to promotions
Posted on 2017/07/24
  promotionsHobbs principals returned to their buildings from summer break on Monday with a shakeup in some assignments.
 Jon Gilcrease is settling in as Houston Middle School principal – although he didn’t have much moving to do. Gilcrease has been assistant principal at the middle school for the past four years and assumes the position vacated by Donna Jones, who was promoted to HMS Special Services Director.
 In the meantime, resignations and retirements resulted in the promotion of Galinda Everhart to principal at Broadmoor Elementary, Diana Salinas to Southern Heights principal and Mellony Turner to Coronado principal. Eligio Gonzalez will fill Gilcrease’s assistant principal slot at Houston.
  Like Gilcrease, Turner – who most recently was a Hobbs High School assistant principal – is in familiar territory. “Coronado has always been a special school for me because it’s where my brother and I attended school,” Turner said. “We were raised in this neighborhood so it’s kind of like coming back home.”
Turner is a 24-year HMS employee who taught elementary school for ten years, middle school for five years and English at Hobbs High School for five years before being promoted to assistant principal two years ago. While she’s used to dealing with an older age group, Turner – voted a most influential educator by her HHS students on multiple occasions – is eager to work with younger students again. “Kids are kids,” she said.  
“They just need someone to care about them. It doesn’t really matter how old they are.”

  Gilcrease, also a multiple past influential educator pick who spent much of his pre-administrative career as a math teacher, agrees. A 1991 Hobbs High School graduate, Gilcrease taught at Houston - where he also coached basketball - before returning to HHS as a teacher. When he became assistant principal at Houston four years ago, however, he made up for a math teaching shortage at the high school by splitting his administrative and teaching duties for two years. He considers himself lucky to have been mentored by Jones and has already brought her teamwork approach to the new job.
   Earlier this summer, Gilcrease and a committee of Houston teachers interviewed a series of assistant principal candidates before offering the job to Gonzalez, another 1991 Hobbs High School graduate who has spent the past 17 years teaching and serving in administrative posts at Hatch.
“Having that experience working with Mrs. Jones really helped me gain the knowledge and training that I needed in order to be successful here,” Gilcrease said from his Houston headquarters on Monday.
 Jones moves into the HMS administrative office formerly occupied by Cliff Burch. The former teacher, assistant principal and principal will be responsible for the education of special needs children ranging from the gifted to medically fragile.
 Jones first went to work as a fifth-grade teacher at Taylor Elementary School in 1999, later taught language arts at Houston, then was assistant principal at Will Rogers and Houston. She’s spent the past five years as Houston’s principal and said she now looks forward to a different administrative perspective. “I wanted to challenge myself on a new level,” Jones said.
 Over at Broadmoor, longtime teacher Galinda Everhart is moving her personal items from a classroom into the principal’s office. Everhart first went to work at the school as a substitute and was encouraged by then-principal Karen Loving to get her teaching degree. The bilingual Hobbs High alum did just that and has spent the past 15 years teaching second through fifth grades at Broadmoor.
 “It’s always been a dream of mine to be principal at Broadmoor,” said Everhart, whose own children attended the school. “There are a few new staff members but I feel like I have the support of the staff. I’m hoping the transition will be seamless for everybody – the staff, the parents and the students. I’ve taught many students and their siblings over the years and they know me.”
 After a year as assistant principal at Southern Heights, the staff also knows Diana Salinas who takes over the reins of leadership in the wake of Michael Hunt’s retirement. But Salinas was a familiar face even before moving into an administrative position last year.
 She grew up a block away from Southern Heights Elementary, attended the school as a child, began her career there as a substitute, then steadily moved up the educational ladder as a teaching assistant, computer lab manager, bilingual teacher, first-grade dual language teacher and reading coach. Since 1997, Salinas’ entire career has been spent at Southern Heights. “I’m familiar with the neighborhood and culture of the school,” she said. 
 Principals and secretaries returned to their schools on Monday and will remain there as the first day of school approaches on Aug. 16.
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