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New Blair Oaks principal hired

Officials with the Blair Oaks School District have a new elementary school principal in place.

The hiring of Kimberly Rodriguez was announced Thursday afternoon.

Rodriguez comes from the Hale R-1 School District in Carroll County in northwest Missouri where she has been a principal for the past four years.

Prior to that, she spent nine years in the classroom working as an elementary special education teacher and reading coach

She and her husband, Matt, have three children.

“We had a cross section of elementary school staff, teachers from each grade level, along with the board of education all participating in the evaluation process,” said Superintendent Jim Jones. “We had 23 applicants apply for the position and we interviewed four. I can tell you that all the groups that participated were excited and confident in the ability of Mrs. Rodriguez and look forward to working with her in the future. She has a strong background in a variety of areas which we felt was extremely important.”

In April, the school board voted unanimously not to bring back Lorie Winslow as elementary principal for the 2012-2013 school year.

This decision came after a number of public and closed meetings following the announcement earlier in the year by Jones that he would not recommend Winslow for re-employment saying she failed to complete teacher evaluations and “for failure to demonstrate complete candor to her direct supervisor.”

Winslow served as principal for 11 years and a large number of parents came out to the meetings to show their support for her staying on the job.

The Facebook site, “Falcon Pride”, where many of Winslow’s backers posted messages supporting her, recently had this posting-

“Very sad day today. Lorie Winslow will be missed dearly. We must accept change. The board had a committee made up of teachers from the elementary school. She (Rodriguez) was found to have deep concern for the children regarding the change in this district. We should welcome her regardless of our feelings of the loss of Lorie Baker Winslow.”

Jones said the district plans to have an event in the summer where the community and district patrons will have a chance to meet Rodriguez and her family.

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