Two Columbia Schools Get New Principals

Apr 26, 2017

Credit Torie Ross / KBIA

Two top administrative vacancies at Columbia Public Schools are now filled for this fall. CPS announced Hickman High School Assistant Principal Tony Gragnani will move up to principal of that school, while Battle High School Assistant Principal Melita Walker will be the new principal at West Middle School.

Gragnani has served as an assistant principal at Hickman since 2014. He says the relationships he’s built during his time there will be important when taking on his new job.

“I’ve had a lot of students coming up to me saying congratulations and that they’re excited, and same with the teachers and everything,” Gragnani said, “so I kind of go in already with those relationships built.”

Gragnani said he will mainly focus on continuity when he moves into the new position. One new issue on his radar is the one-to-one program, which will give each Hickman student a laptop to use during class. He said there are “a lot of logistics that have to be tackled” when putting the system in place, but the new technology will be worth it.

“For example, if you’re using it to Skype in to a classroom overseas or someplace else, that is something that technology provides us that we can’t do on our own,” Gragnani said.

Gragnani will replace Eric Johnson, whose move to the North Kansas City School District was announced in February.

Walker will replace Dustin Jenkerson, who also left for a job in another district. In a news release CPS Superintendent peter Stiepleman called her “a great addition to the leadership team at West Middle School.”