April 17, 2014. Hardin Park School Assistant Principal Philip Norman has been named to succeed Phillip Griffin as principal of Green Valley School effective July 1.
Griffin, who has been principal at Green Valley for 11 years, had previously announced that he would be retiring after the end of the current school year.
Norman said “I am excited about the opportunity to work with the Green Valley community of students, families, and personnel to help the school become even more successful in the years ahead. I would like to thank Mr. Griffin for the strong leadership he provides at Green Valley and I also want to thank all those who have entrusted me to be the next principal there.”
While looking ahead to his new role at Green Valley starting July 1, Norman went on to express his appreciation to the people of Hardin Park. “I am grateful for the students and staff at Hardin Park and want to thank all of them for making this such a wonderful place to serve and to learn. My time there has prepared me well for this transition. This school is and always will be special to me and I am proud to be part of it.”
Norman has been an assistant principal at Hardin Park for eight years. He came to that position following two years as an assistant principal and three years as a math and science teacher in the Wake County Schools. He taught middle grades math in the San Diego City Schools for four years before moving to Wake County.
Norman is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served as a naval aviator for nearly eight years. His educational background includes a master’s degree in school administration from North Carolina State University.
Superintendent Dr. David Fonseca said “I am confident that Mr. Norman will make a great educational leader for Green Valley School. He has extensive experience as a teacher and administrator, a great record of service in our school system, and a deep commitment to helping our students grow and succeed.”
Fonseca also acknowledged the service of Phillip Griffin. “I want to thank Mr. Griffin for his excellent leadership at Green Valley. We wish him our very best as he transitions from the very demanding role of school principal to the next phase of his life.”
The recommendation to hire Norman as principal was approved by the Watauga Board of Education at its meeting Monday night. His selection followed a search process that drew 45 applicants for the position, five of whom were selected for interviews. The interview committee included a Green Valley parent, several Green Valley School personnel, Watauga County Schools Human Resources Director Dr. Stephen Martin, Cove Creek Principal Toby Cone, and Brenda Reese of the Board of Education.
Prior to the review of applications, meetings were held at Green Valley with parents and school personnel to help identify the needs of the school and the most important qualities for their next principal. In presenting the hiring recommendation to the Board of Education, Martin remarked that there were a number of strong candidates for the position and that Norman emerged as the best candidate following an extensive and very thorough interview process.
Norman will be succeeding one of the most experienced principals in the Watauga County Schools when he takes the helm at Green Valley. Griffin, who was selected by his peers as the Watauga County Schools Principal of the Year for 2004-05, has worked with five different superintendents during his tenure as principal.
Green Valley School serves students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and has a current enrollment of approximately 380. It is one of eight K-8 schools in the Watauga County Schools system.