NEW MARKET — The assistant principal of Crawfordsville Middle School is returning to her professional roots.

Brittany Cooper was named principal of New Market Elementary Monday during a meeting of the South Montgomery school board trustees. Cooper replaces Dr. Chris Larson, who resigns at the end of June.

Cooper recently made her first visit to the building as an incoming administrator, touring the recently-renovated rooms with Superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner.

“I think more than anything, I believe success is about relationships and understanding… who is making up the school, building those relationships together,” Cooper said during a reception celebrating her hiring and the district’s “A” state accountability grade.

“I believe in shared leadership and a shared vision and so I’m anxious to get in and… start talking and start listening to their parents, to the teachers and start creating those goals together.”

Cooper began her career as a special education teacher in Wayne Township on the west side of Indianapolis. She joined Crawfordsville Middle School as academic guidance counselor in 2013 and became assistant principal three years later.

In other personnel matters, Southmont High School business teacher Cindy Bannon is retiring June 1 after 21 years of service. Marci Welliever was hired to teach math at Southmont Jr. High.

Teresa Ross was hired as junior/senior high choir director. 

The board also approved an arrangement for co-teaching junior high art classes, which will be handled next school year by Jennifer Snook and Amanda Ellenberger. Snook currently teaches art at New Market and Ellenberger is the art teacher at Ladoga and Walnut Elementary.

In other business, architectural firm Fanning Howey presented a detailed look at plans to renovate the high school commons.

A former stage control room in the gymnasium would be extended into the cafeteria, creating a 980-square-foot platform above existing restroom facilities. A set of sliding windows would look down onto the gym. 

The focal point of the new commons would be a set of “gathering stairs” that lead to the lunchroom seating area and can accommodate nearly 100 people.

“It’s going to be a mecca for students,” project manager Mike Schipp said. 

The plan would also repurpose the bookstore, faculty dining room and the surrounding area into separate learning spaces. Funding will come from unused money in the district-wide renovation project.

The board’s next meeting is 6 p.m. June 10 in the corporation board room, 6401 U.S. 231 South. A public work session on a fiscal plan begins at 5 p.m.

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