Experienced educator Charlton named principal of CHS

Experienced educator Charlton named principal of CHS

Supt. Robert Mitchell, left, with new Cumberland High School Principal Donna Charlton. (Breeze photo by Brittany Ballantyne)

CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland School Committee has unanimously appointed career educator Donna Charlton as the new principal of Cumberland High School.

Charlton, who has more than 25 years of experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator, takes over for Alan Tenreiro, who is departing CHS to become president of Mount St. Charles Academy.

“We are incredibly excited to have found an educator and administrator with Ms. Charlton’s experience and enthusiasm,” said Supt. Robert Mitchell. “We feel certain her leadership will prove a real gift to everyone invested in the continued success of Cumberland High School.”

Mitchell said he spent about four or five hours with Charlton talking about high school leadership, particularly how each school has its own unique characteristics.

“We spent a lot of time talking about where Cumberland High School was, and where they are now and about the high expectations that we all have to continue the good work that is happening there,” he said.

Prior to moving to Rhode Island, Charlton served as principal at Oakdale Middle School in Rogers, Arkansas for five years. Her previous work experience includes serving for 11 years as an assistant high school principal in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston, Texas. She began her career as a classroom teacher in Shreveport, Louisiana.

"I am so excited to be part of Cumberland Public Schools," she said. "I am very happy to be here. I cannot wait to get started."

Charlton brings expertise in a variety of areas that address not only establishing and maintaining rigorous academic environments, but overseeing the complexities of running the day-to-day operations of a dynamic educational environment, according to school officials.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Dillard University, earned her master’s degree from Centenary College of Louisiana, and is expected to receive her PhD in educational leadership from Prairie View A&M University in 2017.

Charlton, who lives in Cumberland with her husband Troy, said she expects to get started on issues like finding new assistant principals sometime next week.

Mitchell said he was impressed in a number of areas with Charlton, including her expertise in teaching, building organizational leadership, and implementing complicated high school schedules.

Coming to the high school now, with significant challenges ahead, “is a significant undertaking, and at times will be a little overwhelming but we’re going to be here to support her,” he said.

School Committee Chairman Ray Salvatore said he and other members are excited to have Charlton and look forward to speaking with her about her vision and goals for the district.