CHS Principal Jill Dahl

Charlottesville High School Principal Jill Dahl has announced she is leaving her post at the end of the school year, meaning CHS has had four principals resign in the last eight years.

In a letter to the school community, Dahl announced that she took a job as the Fluvanna County school division’s coordinator of curriculum and instruction for elementary.

Dahl will continue in her current post through the end of June, the letter said.

“Charlottesville High School is a wonderful place to work, and I will miss all the students, staff members and families,” the letter reads. “Everyone at CHS has a contagious passion for learning, and it is hard to leave such an amazing community.”

Dahl’s resignation was not discussed at the Charlottesville School Board’s meeting Thursday, but students and their families learned of her resignation Wednesday through the letter.

Dahl came to the city schools in 2013 after spending 12 years in Florida as a middle school teacher and administrator. She originally was hired in June 2013 as assistant principal at Clark Elementary.

In August of that year, she was appointed interim principal of CHS to replace Aaron Bissonnette, who suddenly resigned a week before the start of the school year. Bissonnette had held the post for less than two months.

He replaced Thomas Taylor, who was hired in 2008 and left in 2012 to become superintendent of Middlesex County Schools.

In 2008, CHS Principal Kenneth Leatherwood became coordinator of the city division’s human resources department after being hired in 2003.

In a statement, Charlottesville City Schools Superintendent Rosa Atkins lauded Dahl’s support of her teachers and students.

“We appreciate the ways she has empowered her teachers, such as by implementing the high school’s monthly one-hour delayed start to allow for greater professional learning and collaboration,” Atkins wrote. “Above all, we appreciate the ways that she has championed the success and achievement of every Charlottesville High School Black Knight.”

Amy Laufer, chairwoman of the city School Board, said she is saddened by the news of Dahl’s departure. She would not say if she knew before the announcement whether Dahl planned to leave.

“I don’t know if I can say anything about that. I’m disappointed she’s leaving,” Laufer said. “She is an asset to a community … I thought she was a real champion for the high school students.”

Among Dahl’s accomplishments, Laufer said, were the implementation of new courses and programs, such as the college preparatory program known as AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination.)

No new principal has been named, but Atkins’ statement said a “transition plan” is in place.

“Owing in part to Charlottesville High School’s strong reputation, we expect a talented pool of applicants from both outside and inside the division,” Atkins said.

In addition to seeking Dahl’s successor, the school division is looking to hire two more principals before the start of the next school year.

At the end of Thursday’s meeting, Atkins mentioned the division is seeking a successor for Johnson Elementary Principal Peter Stern.

Laufer said Stern informed the school division a few weeks ago that he would be leaving his job at the end of the school year.

Greenbrier Elementary also is in need of a new principal.

Leatherwood, who is currently the interim principal at Greenbrier, was chosen to succeed former Principal Jim Kyner after Kyner was promoted last summer to run the city’s preschool program.

Laufer said the School Board already has completed its final interviews with candidates for the position at Greenbrier.

“This is our first week back right after spring break,” Laufer said. “We’ll be focusing on hiring three new principals shortly.”