Winder Elementary School will have a new principal when school opens.

Andrea P. Neher, who spent more than 15 years in the Clarke County School District, has been hired as the new principal. She will replace Jerry Stapleton, who moves to the Alternative School, where Chuck Torbett retired.

Neher joins WES after serving as principal for one year at Chase Street Elementary. She resigned as principal there in mid-June following a disagreement over performance with Clarke County schools superintendent Demond Means and quickly accepted the Winder job.

“Dr. Means made clear to me that I had more than fallen short in meeting his expectations in leading Chase Street, and that my leadership behaviors did not appropriately address ‘teacher reaction to student underperformance,’ although by many measures, our tree frogs [the school mascot] performed at or near the top of their peers across the district,” Neher wrote in a message to PTO members. The information came from, an Athens publication since 1987.

Neher was assistant principal at Chase Street from 2013-2018. She also was an instructional coach there from 2010-2013 and taught at Fowler Drive Elementary from 2003-2009. She was a lead teacher for Oconee County Head Start for 2002-2003.

She has a doctorate in language and literacy education and a master’s degree in reading education from the University of Georgia and a B.S. degree in elementary education from the University of Central Florida.

Neher’s resume lists six publications she did or contributed to and a dozen presentations she has made to various organizations.

She also was the board chair for Waseca Montessori School from 2015-17 and was the chair of the High Ridge Homeowners’ Association board in 2018.

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