GHS principal Jennifer Shepherd tendered her resignation on Tuesday, Dec. 4, effective immediately.
Greencastle superintendent Lori Richmond confirmed the resignation to the Banner Graphic.
No reason was given publicly for Shepherd's resignation, with Richmond only saying Shepherd would be "pursing opportunities elsewhere."
The change of administration comes suddenly, just eight months after the Greencastle School Board selected Shepherd to replace Randy Corn and only five months after her duties officially began.
The superintendent said a plan has already taken shape to fill the need for a principal at the high school.
"We have a strong plan in place to keep taking care of our students and our staff," Richmond said.
Middle school principal Tamra Walker is set to replace Shepherd at the high school.
In Walker's place, assistant superintendent Dawn Puckett will take over at Greencastle Middle School.
"Both of those individuals are very excited to be moving into the slots they are," Richmond said.
No official action can be taken on the transfers until the school board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12, but Richmond said her recommendation that the board appoint Walker and Puckett to the new positions will be on next week's agenda.
If approval is made, the administrators will take over their new duties on Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Assistant principal Russ Hesler will take care of the principal's duties for the remainder of the semester.
Prior to these appointments, she spent five years as Tzouanakis Intermediate School principal and one year in the split assignment of assistant principal at GHS and GMS.
"Mrs. Walker really wanted to work with the high school at some point and so now she has that chance," Richmond said.
For her part, Walker expressed her confidence in Greencastle High School in the face of the recent turnover in leadership.
"I just want to reassure our students, our teachers, our parents and community members, that we are certainly sensitive to their issues and needs," Walker said, "and that we're going to work with all we've got to make things better and to regain their confidence so that we can move forward and continue our tradition of quality education for not only the middle school and high school, but all of our schools."
She also expressed her gratitude and readiness to serve her alma mater.
"As an alum and a servant-oriented leader, I feel it's my duty to step up and do my best to offer assistance to the school and community in any way that I can," Walker said.
The move to principal would appear from the outside to be a step back for Puckett, who is in her fifth year as assistant superitendent. However, had already given some thought to finding her way back to the middle school.
"Mrs. Puckett really wanted to get back to a principal slot," Richmond said. "That began much earlier than we knew we'd have an opening. So we accelerated her wish and her professional goals to be able to be back in a principal position since we did have this change."
Puckett expressed joy at returning to the middle school setting.
"I was a teacher at Greencastle Middle School for 17 years," she said. "It is my love and my passion. Middle school students are invigorating to me. I am very thrilled about the opportunity."
Puckett also spent four years as a tech integrator for the school prior to becoming assistant superintendent. She laughed thinking of the years she spent at GMS and the time that has passed.
"A lot of these kids, I probably taught their parents," Puckett said. "It's come full circle. I feel very much like I'm going home."
Part of that homecoming will be keeping the school on track, as it raised its state assessment from a D to a C in the last year.
"Under Mrs. Walker's leadership, they have been growing and improving, so we want to continue on that path," Puckett said. "We want to not only stay the course, but continue to review what we're doing and look for better opportunities to improve."
Richmond also said the school might also be ready to move forward on replacing Puckett as assistant superintendent.
During a Monday evening executive session, the board apparently interviewed a candidate for the position. No name of the candidate has been released, but Richmond said she could have a recommendation for the board by next Wednesday.
"The assistant superintendent position focuses on curriculum, technology and grants," Richmond said. "We're looking for a very strong individual."
The superintendent also stressed the importance of the Jan. 2 effective date for the new appointments, saying there is much work to be done in the coming weeks.
"Everyone has some important jobs they need to wrap up before the end of the year," Richmond said. "As of today (Wednesday), both Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Puckett are full-tilt planning for their new building. They have through December to get up to speed, make sure everything's set and then working on any plans necessary."