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Posted by on August 6, 2017.

Commentary: New principal, old school are Dunwoody High challenges

Dunwoody High School is a growing and vibrant school. We are proud of the many accomplishments of our students in athletics, the arts, and academics, but, like many wonderful schools, we are facing a few challenges this year.

Kelly Clinch.

The first challenge will be replacing our much-loved principal, Tom McFerrin. Mr. McFerrin announced recently that he has accepted a Career Tech Coordinator position with the county.

We are thrilled Mr. McFerrin has been honored with a career opportunity he is excited about, but he will be deeply missed at DHS. Having grown up in Dunwoody schools himself, Mr. McFerrin has the unique quality of being an exceptional administrator who also is deeply tied to our community.

Elizabeth Julian.

However, we know that our wonderful team of administrators and strong faculty will maintain the solid learning environment at DHS and build on the legacy Mr. McFerrin leaves behind.

The other challenge we are facing this year involves our facilities. Many students in our community are choosing to be Dunwoody Wildcats because so many wonderful things are happening at DHS. We are excited about our growing community, but our student population is rapidly outgrowing our facilities. We need more classroom and performing arts space, and better athletic facilities.

DeKalb County school officials are working to address these issues and have us slated for the construction of a new wing of classrooms and facility improvements — but not until 2021. In the meantime, our student population this year will grow to more than 1,900 students in a building that was designed to hold about 1,400.

We have added some portable classrooms on campus recently, but our greatest challenge will be creating the best learning environment without all of the space and facilities we need now.

Our Parent Teacher Student Organization is committed to doing all we can to make Dunwoody High School a wonderful place for our teachers to teach and our students to learn — and this year, we will support our faculty and administration as they creatively address these facility issues and begin the search for a strong principal to lead our school to continued success.

Kelly Clinch and Elizabeth Julian are co-presidents of the Dunwoody High School Parent Teacher Student Organization.