Ernie Davis Academy’s acting principal leaving role, moves to district job

Local News

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Theresa Usack, Acting Principal at Ernie Davis Academy, has announced she is leaving her role and moving into a position within the Elmira City School District.

Usack released a letter to parents on Wednesday announcing the decision.

Colin Werfelman, Principal of Diven Elementary School, will serve as the new Acting Principal of Ernie Davis Academy.

The Elmira City School District is pleased to announce Colin Werfelman as incoming Acting Principal of Ernie Davis Academy, effective January 2022. Over the next six weeks, Werfelman will transition from his current appointment as Principal of Diven Elementary School to Acting Principal of Ernie Davis Academy (middle school grades 7-8). Colin has been serving as the Principal of Diven Elementary School for the past three years.  Prior to working in Elmira, Werfelman worked at the secondary level in Baltimore, Maryland.

Jo Legare, current Assistant Principal of Diven Elementary, will serve as Acting Principal for the remainder of this academic year at Diven Elementary. Legare brings 14+ years of experience in administrative leadership at Diven Elementary as assistant principal.

Theresa Usack, who has served as Acting Principal to Ernie Davis Academy since Fall 2020, will return to the role of District Evaluator and Hearing Officer within the District. This transition plan of leadership aligns with school district and NYSED strategies and long-term goals.

The District continues to lean on the foundational Community Schools model as a strategic way to expand programming to families. The District will hire a Mentoring Coordinator and is currently training additional youth mentors to support students as part of the My Brother’s Keeper grant.

The announcement comes, the same day concerned parents planned to address the Elmira City School Board meeting about ongoing bullying issues at Ernie Davis Academy.

After two gatherings, parents, child advocates, and a few students plan to share their experiences and plea for a solution to the growing issue.

“My son is out of the Elmira School District, but there are a lot of other children being bullied and I am going to keep pursuing this,” Ledger told 18 News in an interview.

Elmira City Schools Superintendent Hillary J. Austin says this school year has been particularly difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of Tik Tok challenges.

“It’s been a challenging start for our staff and I think for students. We’re seeing that there’s a lot of conflict from outside of school that’s being brought into school,” Superintendent Austin said.

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