Retired Gwinnett principal steps in at Alcovy

Photo by Erin Evans

Photo by Erin Evans

COVINGTON -- There's a new face at Alcovy High School this school year.

Dr. Bill Kruskamp will serve as acting principal of the school until Principal LaQuanda Carpenter returns from maternity leave later this year.

"It's been good," Kruskamp said Monday about his first few days of school. "The teachers know what to do. I've been pleased with what I've seen.

The Newton County Board of Education approved Kruskamp on July 21 on a temporary basis.

Kruskamp is a retired principal from Gwinnett County Public Schools; he retired May 31 as principal of Creekland Middle School, where he had been principal since 2006. For three years before that, he served as principal of Shiloh High School, where he was a coach and administrator beginning in 1997. He got his start in education teaching science in 1976.

He also currently is an adjunct professor for educational leadership at the University of Georgia, where he's taught since 2005.

"I thought that was going to be the extent of my quiet retirement," he said.

But when he heard about this temporary opportunity, he jumped on it.

"It seemed like it might be interesting to get back into a high school," he said. "It's kind of fun."

He said he's not at Alcovy to push Gwinnett County's educational system on the school, however.

"I'm here to give direction and observe what's going on; I'm watching to make sure we don't miss too many things," he said. "I want to experience the Alcovy way and the Newton County way, and I don't want to say (Gwinnett) did it this way. It's all about teaching and learning -- the terms are pretty much the same."

He is expected to serve as acting principal until the end of November, when Carpenter is scheduled to return to her position, according to Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of Public Relations at the Newton County School System.

"I am excited to be an Alcovy Tiger," Kruskamp said in a welcome letter to the school. "I love the vibrant, energy-rich feel of this school."