In what has become a rite of spring, the Baltimore County school board last night moved 13 principals to new schools or new administrative positions for next academic year.
The board also accepted the resignation of one principal. The personnel moves take effect July 1.
At least three principals who were transferred had come under fire from parent groups.
For now, the moves leave vacant the principal's office at three of the county's largest high schools -- Dulaney, Catonsville and Woodlawn.
As is customary, the board, without comment, approved the moves during its regular meeting last night at Eastern Technical High School in Essex. More moves are expected.
Pot Spring Elementary Principal Saundra Fitzell is being replaced by Paul E. Murrell, now principal at Pine Grove Elementary.
Ms. Fitzell, who will become a supervisor in the office of educational services, was criticized by parents unhappy with how reading was taught in recent years. The parents claimed she was a strong proponent of the whole language approach, which frustrated young readers and lowered test scores. However, the principal denied that she prohibited the teaching of phonics and other approaches to reading.
Hillcrest Elementary Principal Joe E. Wilson will become principal at Ridgely Middle in Timonium. At Hillcrest in Catonsville, religious holiday observances have seemed to become an annual controversy. Mr. Wilson replaces Stephen J. Ponzillo, who will become principal of Rosedale Center for Alternative Studies on the eastside.
Clark Powell, removed last week as principal of troubled Randallstown High, will be replaced by Rosedale Principal Barry F. Williams.
Joan Powell -- no relation to Clark Powell -- will leave Woodlawn High, which has had serious discipline problems. Her new assignment was not announced. Other appointments include:
* Dulaney High School Principal Thomas R. Hensley will take a new position as assistant superintendent of technology.
* Catonsville High Principal Donald Mohler will become director of high schools for the southwest area.
* Pleasant Plains Elementary Principal Ann F. Eicholtz will become a supervisor in the southeast.
* Seven Oaks Elementary Principal Karen Schafer will become elementary director in the southwest.
* Victory Villa Elementary Principal Sharon R. Yospe will become supervisor of multicultural education.
* Villa Cresta Elementary Principal Barbara Ellis will be come principal of the Eastwood Center, replacing Lois Valentine, who will take a year's sabbatical.
* Rodgers Forge Elementary Principal Lawrence P. Snow resigned after two years there.