Melissa Garris Selected as New Albany Primary School Assistant Principal
New Albany - Plain Local Schools welcomes Melissa Garris as the New Albany Primary School Assistant Principal. Mrs. Garris will officially join the district on August 1, 2021 with additional summer work days to facilitate her transition. Mrs. Garris will replace Mr. Barry Ward who is transitioning to the role of Assistant Director of Special Education for Grades 1-6. Mrs. Garris will join Principal Teresa Smith and Assistant Principal Dr. Sara Peterson on the Primary School’s leadership team serving 1,100 students in grades 1, 2, and 3.
Mrs. Garris joins NAPLS from Worthington Schools, where she served in numerous teacher leader roles in addition to being a successful primary grade teacher. Her work as a Teacher Leader Liaison with the Ohio Department of Education focused on creating meaningful connections between staff, students, and families. She was a district leader in early literacy instruction and online learning. Mrs. Garris believes in the importance of developing the whole child, both academically and emotionally.
“Through the interview process, Melissa’s emphasis on strategies to increase academic achievement, combined with her care for the overall well-being and success of young learners, truly impressed the selection committee,” said Director of Elementary Education Scott Emery. Principal Smith shared, “Melissa’s student-centered leadership, passion, and commitment to providing the very best educational opportunities for students make her a wonderful addition to the Primary School leadership team.”
Mrs. Garris earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Xavier University, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Ohio Dominican University. She began her teaching career in Columbus City Schools where she taught kindergarten, first and third grades. She lives in Worthington with her husband, Greg, and their two children, Maggie (4) and Bo (2).
Mrs. Garris stated, “New Albany has a tradition of high expectations, innovation, and doing what’s best for kids. I’m honored and excited to join in that work!”