New leaders are coming to several Omaha Public Schools elementary schools this fall.

The OPS board recently approved several administrative appointments.

» Kerri Murtaugh, most recently an assistant principal at Chandler View Elementary, is the new principal of Highland Elementary. Murtaugh has worked in the district for 19 years, with stints as an English as a second language and elementary school teacher and as a student placement administrator.

» Collette Nero, an assistant principal at Fullerton Magnet Center, has been named the new principal of Field Club Elementary. Nero has worked in the district for nearly 18 years and previously worked as a school psychologist and coordinator of psychological services with the district’s Department of Student and Community Services. In March, she cut off and donated 2 feet of her hair for the Locks of Love charity.

» Abbie Vlcek, a student support liaison, will serve as both an elementary supervisor and the new principal of Ponca Elementary. Vlcek has worked in OPS for 12 years as an elementary teacher, school support liaison and literacy facilitator.

For much of the 2017-18 school year, Ponca shared a principal, Matthew Piechota, with Catlin Elementary, after former Ponca Principal Jennifer LeClair was tapped to fill a sudden vacancy at Wakonda Elementary. Some Ponca parents were displeased about having a principal split between two schools.

Like LeClair, who also worked as a part-time administrator, Vlcek will serve part time as the Ponca principal and part time as an elementary supervisor. Ponca is OPS’s smallest elementary school, with fewer than 150 students. Piechota will go back to being a full-time principal at Catlin, an OPS spokeswoman said.

» Ryan Murtaugh, a student support liaison at Burke High, will become the district’s new supervisor of physical education and human growth and development.

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Reporter - Education

Erin is an enterprise reporter for the World-Herald. Previously, Erin covered education. Follow her on Twitter @eduff88. Phone: 402-444-1210.

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