(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Amy Morris, who taught at Broadus Wood Elementary School for ten years and also served as co-principal of its summer school program, is returning to the school six years later—to be its principal.

Also today, the school division announced that Joshua Walton, who has been the assistant principal at Walton Middle School for two years, has been appointed as the school’s new principal, effective July 1.

Morris, currently the assistant principal at Sutherland Middle School, will step into her new role on July 1 as well. She succeeds Kendra King. Walton will succeed Alison Dwier-Selden.

Described by Dr. Matt Haas, the school division’s deputy superintendent, as a strong instructional leader with a deep understanding of elementary education, Morris has served as a mentor to new assistant principals for Albemarle County Public Schools.

“Given the success she had as a teacher at Broadus Wood and the exceptional leadership she developed at both the elementary and middle school levels, Amy is a perfect fit for the Broadus Wood community,” Dr. Haas said. “At a time when contemporary instructional models are becoming more student-centered, she has an uncommon ability to connect with students and teachers alike to create an excitement around learning,” he added.

Walton also has strong local ties, having taught English at Charlottesville High School for eight years before joining Madison County High School as an assistant principal. In the two years he has been part of Walton Middle School’s leadership team, he has “demonstrated a strong understanding of instructional practices and quickly established highly collaborative relationships with students and staff,” according to Dr. Haas.

“I could not be more proud of Josh or more grateful for his contributions to our students and school,” said Dwier-Selden. “He constantly is thinking about and implementing a broad range of opportunities for children to become more engaged in school. He’s fair-minded and open to all points of view and a wonderful choice to take our school to higher levels of achievement,” she said.

Walton said he would build upon several areas of strength, including an award-winning Global Virtual Classroom, the school’s music program, and its highly progressive career and technical education course offerings. “I am a firm believer in the power of hands-on, project-based learning,” he said, “and look forward to working with a great staff and community to continue to lift the performance of students and their enjoyment of learning.”

Morris began her career in education in 2000 as a kindergarten teacher at Broadus Wood. She also taught at both the first and second grade levels. While at the school, she won a Golden Apple for teaching excellence, an award based upon recommendations from the community and colleagues. In 2010, Morris became the assistant principal at Hollymead Elementary School and in 2014 was appointed as Sutherland Middle School’s assistant principal.

In a note to the community, Morris said, “This is such an important and opportunity-rich time to be an educator and also to be a student. We are moving instruction into a model that not only emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge, but also its application. Our focus on project-based learning, on collaboration, on encouraging creativity, all of these skills will serve our students well not only at Broadus Wood, but throughout their academic career.”

Morris is a graduate of James Madison University with a degree in Philosophy and Religion. She received her Master’s in Education from the University of Virginia (UVa) and holds a postgraduate license in Administration and Supervision and Early Childhood Education. She also holds an associate’s degree in Business Administration from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Walton is an undergraduate of the University of Richmond with a degree in English. He earned his Master’s in Administration & Supervision from UVa and holds a state endorsement in Administration & Supervision for PK-12.

“I’d like to thank the Broadus Wood and the Walton communities for their assistance with our search process,” Dr. Haas said, noting the online community surveys that asked respondents to offer suggestions on the qualities they sought in a new principal. “They helped lead to the appointment of two superbly qualified leaders for our school division,” he said.