Akron Public Schools names new principals for I Promise School, three other buildings

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LeBron James, center, speaks at the opening ceremony of the Akron Public Schools' and LeBron James Family Foundation's I Promise School on July 30, 2018.
LeBron James, center, speaks at the opening ceremony of the Akron Public Schools' and LeBron James Family Foundation's I Promise School on July 30, 2018.

Akron Public Schools named a Maple Heights educator as the new principal of the I Promise School, one of four new leaders in Akron schools next fall.

Tawanna Hamm, a University of Akron graduate, has worked in Maple Heights schools since 2005, most recently as an assistant principal.

She will be the second person to serve as permanent principal of the I Promise School; the school had two interim principals last year after the founding principal, Brandi Davis, resigned from the district after acknowledging striking a child in the face.

I Promise is a public school but is operated in partnership with The LeBron James Family Foundation. The foundation posted messages on its social media Monday night welcoming Hamm.

The school board approved Hamm's appointment at a regular meeting Monday. It appointed another external candidate as director of student and family services, a newly created position under Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack. The new director, Wanda Lash, was most recently director of student support services in Canton City Schools.

The board also approved internal candidates to lead three buildings next year: Firestone, Forest Hill and Findley community learning centers.

Firestone's Larry Johnson was promoted at the end of last school year to a district role overseeing all high school principals, another new position.

Tina Loughry will take the helm at Firestone after serving as an academy principal in the school under Johnson. She is a former social studies teacher and has been in the district since 2014.

Theresa Essandoh, the dean of students, will become the principal at Findley. She has been with APS since 2017 and started as a special education teacher.

Juanita Rogers has been with APS since 2020, also serving as a dean of students, and will become the principal at Forest Hill.

Chief of Schools Rachel Tecca said the four principal jobs were the only new ones slated for next year, although with other central office jobs still open, it's still possible a current principal could be promoted, resulting in a new leader at their building.

Contact education reporter Jennifer Pignolet at jpignolet@thebeaconjournal.com, at 330-996-3216 or on Twitter @JenPignolet. 

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Akron Public Schools names new I Promise, Firestone principals