Education

Myrtle Beach High School getting a new principal

Myrtle Beach High School Principal John Washburn is at the front of the line to present diplomas in the commencement ceremony at Myrtle Beach High School on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.
Myrtle Beach High School Principal John Washburn is at the front of the line to present diplomas in the commencement ceremony at Myrtle Beach High School on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

Myrtle Beach High School will get a new principal for the next school year.

Myrtle Beach High's John Washburn has served in the position for five years, but is taking a new job in the district office starting in July.

"It’s been a wonderful experience for me," Washburn said. "I’ve truly enjoyed my time at Myrtle Beach High School. They’re great people, and I want them to be successful."

On July 1, he'll be the district's new director for accountability and instruction, a position devoted to looking at performance data for state accountability purposes and using that data to improve school performance.

The position was previously held by Boone Myrick, now the chief officer of curriculum and instruction, but it's been vacant for about a year, said District 2 school board member Sherrie Todd.

"What it’s doing is looking at pairing instruction with accountability," said Superintendent Richard Maxey. "It’s not just about assessment. It’s not just about testing. It’s really about using information to help leverage and improve the instructional practices that we have in our classroom."

Washburn, a former band director, said he applied for the position because he has a love of data and patterns stemming from his music background.

"When you’re looking at a score of music, the melody is always embedded in all the instruments, all the voices," Washburn said. "It’s the conductor’s job to make the listener always hear the melody. That kind of thing, believe it or not, I’ve just always kind of gotten into that. I enjoy looking at trends and patterns, it’s something I’ve been doing for a long time."

Todd said the district needs Washburn in the position.

"He’s probably one of the most intelligent people working in the district," Todd said. "… He’s awesome with data, he’s awesome with Power School, he’s awesome with charts and graphs. He’s multi-talented."

The new principal job will be open for about two weeks, Todd said, adding that Maxey, the school board, the attendance area's school advisory council and human resources department will have a hand in choosing the school's next leader.

The assistant principals will run the high school until a new principal is hired, and the new principal will be in place by the start of next school year, Todd said.

The thing Washburn will miss most about the job is the daily interaction with the kids at the school, he said.

"When you move to a larger position, unfortunately you move further away from direct interaction with students," he said, adding that he still planned to be involved with the high school when he gets the chance.

"I’ll still show up for ball games and events of that nature and stay with them as much as I can," he said.

Kids go back to school Aug. 22.

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