Martin McDonald, of High Point, North Carolina, has agreed to become the principal of Oak Ridge High School effective July 1.
McDonald was selected following the screening of applications and interviews of selected candidates by a committee including administrators, Oak Ridge High School staff members, and both a student and parent representative from ORHS, a press release said.
He will replace the current principal, David Bryant, who is retiring. Bryant had been an assistant principal and interim principal before he was named principal in January 2014. Byrant has also been an administrator at the Alternative Program, and he began his career with Oak Ridge Schools as a special education teacher in 1985.
McDonald spent his early years in Knoxville because his father was employed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the press release said. He attended the University of Tennessee, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1999. He also earned his master’s degree in education at the University of Tennessee in 2001. In 2008, he completed his master’s degree in school administration at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The press release said McDonald began his educational career in 2001 as a social studies teacher at Smith High School in Greensboro, North Carolina. From 2005 to 2010, he was the assistant principal of Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, North Carolina. Since 2010, he has served as principal of Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City, North Carolina.
While serving as principal, McDonald led Jordan-Matthews High School to be ranked the 12th- and fourth-best school in North Carolina by US News and World Report. The school also made Newsweek’s list of the top 500 schools in the country for working with high poverty students and has raised its graduation rate from 61.8 percent to 79.8 percent.
Additionally, McDonald oversaw the implementation of a 1:1 laptop program at Jordan-Matthews and was selected to represent principals across the state of North Carolina for the Distinguished Leadership in Practice program on the Digital Transformation of Schools.
“We are very excited to have Mr. McDonald join our team in Oak Ridge,” Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers said. “His experience, knowledge of our area, and proven success will be an asset to Oak Ridge High School and the community.”