Washington High names new principal after sex scandal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Washington High names new principal after sex scandal

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A new principal has been named at a local school previously involved in a sex scandal.  The Cedar Rapids Community School District approved John Cline as the new Washington High School Principal.

He replaces Dr. Ralph Plagman, who resigned last year after the sex scandal involving a former substitute teacher at the school.  The teacher, Mary Beth Haglin, was sentenced to prison after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Cline was previously the assistant principal at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina since 2013, the largest school in the state.  He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master’s degree from Queens University of Charlotte.

“Washington High School has built a rich tradition of excellence that I'm honored to join,” said Cline. “I'm excited to get started working with Washington's faculty, staff, parents, students, community and district leadership in continuing to build upon its successes.  My family and I look forward to becoming an active part of the Cedar Rapids community.”

“Through the interview process it became clear that Mr. Cline recognizes Washington is a premier Iowa High School and that he is eager to learn more about the notable traditions at the school,” said Dr. Brad Buck, Superintendent. “At the same time, he has an eye towards collaborating with students, staff, and the school community to support Washington in becoming even more successful at serving our students. As we welcome Mr. Cline, I also want to thank Dr. Grant for his leadership during this school year as interim principal.”

“The selection process for this position included interviews with teams of students, staff, administration, parents and community members,” added Mary Ellen Maske, Deputy Superintendent. “Mr. Cline stood out based on his experience with diverse school communities, laser-like focus on improving student learning outcomes, and high regard by the staff at South Mecklenburg High School.   The most recent survey of staff members impressively identified his strengths as instructional leadership, integrity, trust, and belief in children. “

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