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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover High School principal Todd Finn has announced he is leaving to accept a new position with a school in Henry County, GA. He will remain at NHHS until the end of December, a school district spokeswoman said.

Finn announced his departure in an e-mail to faculty and staff.

“Last night, after a board of education meeting in Georgia, I agreed to spearhead the launching of a brand new learning community,” Finn wrote. “This project will take months of planning and development, and will require me to begin working in my new school community immediately. I will therefore be moving on from New Hanover High School to begin a new chapter in my career at the end of the semester.”

Finn came to New Hanover in July 2011 after one year at West Bladen High School.

“This exciting opportunity to open a 21st Century school comes once in a lifetime for any high school principal,” Finn wrote in his e-mail. “Moreover, it allows me to take much better care of my family as I continue to pursue my doctoral degree. A more suitable situation could not be asked for, and I am grateful for God’s grace and provision moving forward.”

The school district says plans for the new principal of NHHS will be announced at a later date.

New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley said he wishes Finn success in his new position, according to a news release. The superintendent cited several of Finn’s initiatives, such as the Freshman Odyssey Academy, improving the school’s dropout rate, and increasing school spirit, as achievements that have improved NHHS under his tenure, the release said.

Finn’s tenure at NHHS, though, has not been without controversy. While some have lauded him, others have been highly critical of his work. In April, a teacher filed a grievance against Finn saying he retaliated against her for complaining about a problem with the heat in Brogden Hall. The district’s human resources department sided with Finn.

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14 Comments on "Finn to quit as principal of NHHS at end of month"

pay them
2015 years 9 months ago

Teacher and Principles are flying out of North Carolina Schools because of low pay. And now no funding. North Carolina has the lowest starting pay for teachers and principles with that they also have the lowest pay raise scale: only 12% raise in 10 years. The Average teacher in Georgia makes $11,000 more than teachers in North Carolina. And now teachers in North Carolina are having to purchase class room materials out of there own pocket. Public “FREE” Schooling will soon be a “thing of the past” as private investers will soon be taking over public schools for profit!

2015 years 9 months ago

Teachers in North Carolina make higher than the average salary in the state. They are not the only state employees to go without raises.

2015 years 9 months ago

And this would be a bad thing??? Have you not noticed how big of a failure our public schools are? Private investment would be a wonderful idea. Research it. Educate yourself.

2015 years 9 months ago

those who thought Mr. Finn did a great job…and those who thought he didn’t.

Let the slugfest begin.

2015 years 9 months ago

No need to slug it out. Done is done. he’s gone. Let the school heal.

Monkey Junction
2015 years 9 months ago

I do not have any direction involvement in NHHS so I do not have any personal experience with Mr. Finn. I do know that he preached the importance of staying in school and seeing the job to the end. Unfortunately, he does not follow his own advise. By resigning in the middle of the year, he is quitting on the students, the teachers, and the parents.

I read in recent articles that some students transferred to NHHS based solely on Mr. Finn. Now he is quitting on those students. Here is a quote from Mr. Finn:

“I am not going to be a status quo principal. I’m going to be a game changer,” Finn said.

Game changer indeed.

2015 years 9 months ago

I will be sorry to Finn go. This town squablles over change and ignores the underlying benefits. The school made it to the top 2000 in newsweek magazine, it didn’t fall into the ridiculous mind meld of the other public schools here where so much focus is on a stripe on a shirt, an oversized logo, even if the shade of blue is too light… Finn said these kids are going to be adults, and will be treated as such. Low hanging pants and offensive tshirts… we don’t need a dress code to say a list of things that are acceptable, keep it simple and say what’s not acceptable and focus on what we are here for.. education.

I’m not paying for teachers to issue a rubric saying if you want to make an a do this, if you want to make a b, you can do this, for a c you do this, for a d, do this… those rubrics are rampant and poisonous. They take the accountablility of a student’s success squarely off the teacher’s shoulders. The teacher can no longer be measured or graded by how well they educated, because its the student that decided to make a d according to a list of options.

If parents listened, he charged the the staff, teachers and students on teamwork.

Donna Jones
2015 years 9 months ago

Markley can sure pick them, huh? Baldwin from Hoggard the first to go, then Bowen from Ashley, and now Finn. There was also the testing director who didn’t even last a year! When is the board going to wake up and get a whiff of what is going on here with leadership? Losers attract losers…..NHHS needs to heal from the damage done by this man just like the other two high schools had to do…..how many teachers have gone from New Hanover….start counting. Shame on the Board of Education!!!

2015 years 9 months ago

I don’t care about teachers who don’t care about students. That goes for a whopping amount of teachers. I care about our future, and if that makes me an oddball teacher so be it. I don’t look at teacher complacency as the litmus test for whether a principal is doing a good job. Look at the teachers left… and look at the ones that enjoy helping kids that are stalwarts in showing what success really is.

If there was a problem with the school, the teachers who vacated could have educated the communit on what the problem was. There would have been no retaliation from Mr. Finn if they had already left. I don’t hear them. He’s just got a management style that was different than they were used to. Does that make Mr. Finn bad? No, that made him necessary. I have teachers in my family and a kid that goes to school at NHHS. Also a friend of the family is a teacher there. I know from experience that sometimes you need a shakedown… if students were leaving and not succeeding that would be a bad thing…. but the numbers went up while the teachers or a group left. Doesn’t that speak volumes?

former employee
2015 years 9 months ago

Good Riddance! Teacher morale is terrible at nhhs mainly due to Finn. 3 counselors, 3 asst principals and the entire administrative support staff have retired or transferred during Finn’s reign of 2 plus years. A main reason people left was his micro-managing and his bullying behavior. He replaced many of these people with females right out of college with little or no experience. He does not value experience or opinions/beliefs contrary to his own. He wants yes/men and yes/women. NHHS faculty is celebrating tonight!

2015 years 9 months ago

WOW! This very thing is happening in a neighboring county right now. Someone explain how these qualities & characteristics are anything but toxic to the schools unfortunate enough to be under the rule of people like this. This school will also see many leave – some may go before the school year is over. I hope the Boards of the surrounding counties are taking note. I also find it very Interesting & convenient that he is resigning & leaving after the controversy….

pay them
2015 years 9 months ago

No its not bad if you can afford to pay to send your child to school. Private investors will require parents to pay for an education. Meaning low income areas would have low income teachers and supplies. Guess your rich and it doesnt matter because your child is prob already in a private school. Meaning it doesnt matter to you if another child receives less of an eduction. The problem with the country today nobody cares about anybody

2015 years 9 months ago

It is your responsibility to take care of your family. It is my responsibility to take care of mine. Why should your family be my responsibility?

2015 years 9 months ago

The rush? He’s leaving at the end of December?

I find this “disturbingly” odd…….



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