Education

Darius Ballard named interim principal of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids

Ballard has been an associate principal at the school since 2016

Arne Duncan, then the U.S. education secretary (right), poses for a selfie with Darius Ballard after a Teach to Lead pan
Arne Duncan, then the U.S. education secretary (right), poses for a selfie with Darius Ballard after a Teach to Lead panel discussion during a stop at Roosevelt Middle School in southwest Cedar Rapids on Sept. 15, 2015. Ballard has been named interim principal at Cedar Rapids Washington High School, where he has been associate principal since 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Darius Ballard will be interim principal of Washington High School next school year, according to a Tuesday news release from the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Ballard has been an associate principal at the high school since 2016. He will begin his new position Wednesday.

District officials plan to begin the hiring process for a permanent principal in January or February. A one-year job to fill Ballard’s associate principal position will be posted Friday.

Washington High Principal John Cline resigned last week for a principal position in North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. His last day with the Cedar Rapids district was Tuesday.

In addition to working under Cline, Ballard was an associate principal for interim Washington Principal Carlos Grant during the 2016-17 school year and briefly for longtime Principal Ralph Plagman.

As associate principal, Ballard has developed behavior support and intervention systems, implemented safety procedures and worked to diversify enrollment in advanced courses.

“I am deeply honored and pleased to accept this role and responsibility,” Ballard said in the release. “We have been doing great work at Washington. My top priority is to reinvigorate staff as we progress toward our important goals for students, parents and the community.

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“It’s always a great day to be a Warrior, and my job is to make sure we feel it even deeper this year.”

Ballard previously taught science at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School. He has a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa and bachelor’s degrees in biology and secondary education from Cornell College.

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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