North Raleigh News

Millbrook and Abbotts Creek elementary schools gain familiar leaders

Paula Trantham hangs out with a kindergarten class at Millbrook Elementary School. After leading Millbrook for eight years, Trantham is starting her new job as principal of Abbotts Creek Elementary, which will open this summer.
Paula Trantham hangs out with a kindergarten class at Millbrook Elementary School. After leading Millbrook for eight years, Trantham is starting her new job as principal of Abbotts Creek Elementary, which will open this summer. mhankerson@newsobserver.com

Two North Raleigh elementary schools will have familiar leaders at the helm starting Monday.

Paula Trantham, who has served as principal at Millbrook Elementary School for eight years, will start her new job as leader of Abbotts Creek Elementary. The new school is set to open in August.

Jamee Lynch, a former Wake County principal, will return from a five-year stint in Dallas to take Trantham’s place at Millbrook Elementary.

Trantham said her move from Millbrook is “bittersweet.” She was appointed to serve as principal of Abbotts Creek Elementary three years ago, but construction was delayed because not enough families opted to attend the new school.

“I love this school (and) I love the family we have here,” Trantham said of Millbrook Elementary.

But she said opening a school seemed like the next logical step for her.

“To be able to really help create a school community and a school culture and build a learning environment is so exciting,” Trantham said.

She will hand over the reins at Millbrook Elementary to Lynch, who has previously served as principal of the School of Integrated Technology at East Wake High School. She also worked at Sanford Creek Elementary in Rolesville and Hodge Road Elementary in Knightdale, along with several Johnston County schools.

Lynch left Wake to pursue teaching in the Knowledge is Power Program in Texas. KIPP schools are charter schools that focus on remediation and college prep. They primarily enroll under-served populations to bring students up to speed academically and help them become competitive for college.

Some KIPP schools use non-traditional practices, such as extended school days and calendars. KIPP schools require administrators to design and open their own school.

Lynch designed and opened an elementary school in Dallas using the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program as inspiration. In Raleigh, Millbrook Elementary has an International Baccalaureate magnet program.

Lynch said working in KIPP schools showed her that teaching students isn’t just about academics. It’s also about character. At KIPP schools, teachers focus on supporting character traits that will serve students later in life.

Throughout her time in Texas, Lynch knew she would eventually return to Wake County.

“I’m really, really happy to bring what I’ve learned back home,” she.

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