After eight years as the head of Knightdale High School, principal Carla Jernigan-Baker will be leaving her post at the end of this school year.
Jernigan-Baker was named principal of the Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Raleigh last week. She’s been principal of Knightdale High School since 2006.
“You always take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves ... this is just a great opportunity you can’t overlook,” she said.
Jernigan-Baker said even though switching schools will be hard, it will be difficult for another school to take Knightdale’s place.
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“Knightdale will always be in my heart,” she said. “Leaving this place is very difficult, I’ve got great sudents, I’ve got great staff. It’s going to be hard to walk away.”
Although Knightdale High School still falls below the state average in proficiency scores, the school has improved throughout Jernigan-Baker’s tenure.
The school’s graduation rates have also steadily increased, from about 73 percent in the 2008-2009 school year to 78 percent last academic year.
But those data points are not the best indicators of the school’s achievements, Jernigan-Baker said.
“There have been a lot of things that were improved,” she said. “I think the most significant improvement is just in watching individuals grow.”
“There are so many great things, great people (and) great citizens that have come out this school, you can’t name just one (accomplishment),” she said.
The move will also mean about a $12,000 pay increase for Jernigan-Baker. At Knightdale High School, Jernigan-Baker makes $100,181 a year. Her salary at Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy will be $112,075.
Jernigan-Baker’s replacement has not been named but the county is currently going through the process to name her replacement.
Also on Tuesday, Roy Teel’s stint as interim principal of Knightdale Elementary School was extended through June 30. He’s been at the school since April.