The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees approved the appointment of several principals and program leaders effective with the 2021-22 school year.
J.R. Ankenbruck, Lincoln Elementary Principal
John R. (J.R.) Ankenbruck joined FWCS in 2003 as a Title I resource teacher at Geyer Middle School after beginning his career in Indianapolis. In 2004, he moved to Kekionga Middle School as a social studies teacher, and in 2006, he served as an administrative intern at Miami Middle School followed by positions as assistant principal at Franke Park Elementary and then Croninger Elementary. He became principal of Washington Elementary in 2010 and in 2014 he moved to principal at Holland Elementary. At Lincoln, he replaces Claire Paul, who is moving to Whitney Young Early Childhood Center.
Courtney Gremaux, Harris Elementary
Principal Courtney Gremaux joined FWCS in 2009 as a special education teacher. During the 2017-18 school year, she participated in the FWCS administrative internship program at Maplewood Elementary, and has been the assistant principal at Price Elementary since the 2018-19 school year. At Harris, she replaces Jana Ankenbruck, who is retiring.
Rachel Merz, Croninger Elementary Principal
Rachel Merz joined FWCS in 2015 as a fifth-grade teacher at Fairfield Elementary with five years of teaching experience. This year, she served as the administrative intern at Croninger Elementary, where she will now take over for Carrie Kennedy, who is moving to Levan Scott Academy.
Claire Paul, Whitney Young Early Childhood Center Principal
Claire Paul will become the principal of Whitney Young Early Childhood Center. She joined FWCS in 2016 as assistant principal at Weisser Park Elementary School and has served as principal of Lincoln Elementary since 2017. Prior to coming to FWCS, she was a district coach in East Allen County Schools and a principal with Bluffton-Harrison Schools. At Whitney Young, she replaces Melissa Plumb, who is moving to Weisser Park Elementary.
Melissa Plumb, Weisser Park Elementary Principal
Melissa Plumb joined FWCS in 1998 as a special education teacher. In 2014, she became an administrative intern and then assistant principal at Haley Elementary. In 2016, she became principal at Whitney Young. At Weisser Park, she replaces Kent Martz, who is retiring.
Stacey Schortgen, Holland Elementary Principal
Stacey Schortgen started her education career in 2006 as a fourth-grade teacher in Warren, Kentucky. She joined FWCS a year later as a substitute teacher. In 2008, she was hired as a music teacher at Indian Village Elementary. She later worked as a classroom teacher at Adams, Haley and Shambaugh elementary schools before entering the FWCS Administrative Intern program. She served as an intern at Forest Park, South Wayne and Washington Center elementary schools. In 2016, she was named the assistant principal at South Wayne. At Holland, she replaces J.R. Ankenbruck, who is moving to Lincoln Elementary.
Jasmine Youngblutt, Franke Park Principal
Jasmine Youngblutt joined FWCS in 2013 with nine years of teaching experience. She worked as an interventionist at Lindley Elementary School, a Student Learning Advocate for the Snider feeder family and an instructional coach at Bunche Early Childhood Center and Northwood Middle School. This year, she served as the administrative intern at Northcrest Elementary School. At Franke Park, she replaces Gjergj Haxhiu.
Byron Brown, Fort Wayne Virtual Academy 6-12 Assistant Principal
Byron Brown joined FWCS this year as an administrative intern at South Side High School. Prior to joining FWCS, he worked as the assistant director of alternative education and then director of student assignment for Indianapolis Public Schools from 2009-14; principal of Carpe Diem Innovative School and Hoosier Academy from 2014-2018; and dean of students at North Central High School in Washington Township from 2018-2020. As 6-12 assistant principal for the FWCS Virtual Academy, Brown will oversee academics and operations for sixth through 12th grades for the new online school opening in the fall.
Riley Johnson, Electric Works School Assistant Principal
Riley Johnson started with FWCS in 2009 and was one of the first teachers at New Tech Academy at Wayne. In 2014, he moved to Napa, California, to serve as principal at New Technology High School, the flagship school of the New Tech Network. He returned to FWCS in 2019 as an assistant principal at Northrop High School. This year, he is an assistant principal of the FWCS Career Academy. As assistant principal of the school to open in the fall of 2022 at Electric Works, Johnson will oversee all operations of the STEAM-focused learning environment.