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A new administration team at PES

Principal Eleanor Walker retires

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:54 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 2:23 p.m. CST
(BCR photo/Donna Barker)
Princeton Elementary School Board Judd Lusher (left) and PES Superintendent Tim Smith (right) pose for a photo at Monday's PES Board meeting with Jefferson Elementary Principal Eleanor Walker who is retiring after a 56-year career in education. After the board accepted Walker's resignation, the board and staff members gave Walker a standing ovation for her years of service to the district. Before cake was served, the board and staff members thanked Walker for her impact on them personally and on the district.

PRINCETON — The Princeton Elementary School Board has adjusted its administration team for the coming year.

At Monday’s meeting, the PES Board hired Amanda Carr as the new Logan Junior High School principal. Carr has worked for the district for the past six years as a special education teacher at Reagan Middle School.

In making his recommendation to hire Carr, Superintendent Tim Smith said Carr is extremely committed and hard working and will be a great asset to the administration team.

Carr will replace J.D. Orwig as Logan principal. Orwig will now become principal at Jefferson Elementary and will also assume some district-wide responsibilities, Smith said following the meeting.

The board also voted to post an assistant principal position for Logan Junior High School, since 125 additional fifth-grade students, plus staff, from the Reagan Middle School building will become part of the Logan campus starting with the 2014-15 school year.

The increased numbers of students and staff at Logan would be too much for one principal to handle well, Smith said. With the consideration of school security, it would be best to have administrative support on the west end of the Logan campus as well the east side of the campus. Also, there is the challenge of changing requirements in performance evaluations for school districts. Even if Orwig had stayed at Logan, he (Smith) would have asked for an assistant principal at Logan, Smith said.

Rounding out the administration team for PES will be Principal Bob Bima, who will split his time between Douglas Elementary and Lincoln Elementary. Previously, he had split his time between Lincoln and Reagan.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the Reagan building, which had housed fourth and fifth grades, will be used this coming year by PES for one preschool class of Tiskilwa children, with additional Reagan space rented to Crossroads High School and the Bureau-Marshall-Putnam Tri-County Special Education Cooperative. In Princeton, the Douglas building will house three pre-kindergarten classrooms and kindergarten; the Jefferson building will house first and second grades; the Lincoln building will house third and fourth grades; and the Logan building will house fifth through eighth grades.

In a special recognition at Monday’s meeting, the board honored retiring Jefferson Elementary Principal Eleanor Walker, who is retiring after a total of 56 years of service. No person has been more dedicated to the PES in more than a half of a century of service, Smith said.

“I personally will be forever grateful to you. You helped shape my career because of the way you mentored me and for the work you have done in this district,” Smith said. “We talk about how people have a philosophy of education, and yours is clear … you care about kids, the rich kids, the poor kids, you care about every one of them. You have walked the walk in such an amazing way. If any of us can get to half way of what you have accomplished, we will be successful.”

In other comments from the board and staff, Orwig thanked Walker for her hard work ethic, which is one to be admired and followed. On a humorous note, he also thanked her for her great tolerance of him and Bima at administrator meetings.

Bima described Walker as an institution, someone who always remained calm even in the tense times and a person who looked on the bright side of things.

In her comments, Jefferson Elementary teacher Kylie Gutshall said Walker is very passionate about kids and has been a great role model and mentor for her.

“I know I have worked with a legend,” Gutshall said.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

Editor’s note: Check out Saturday’s BCR for a feature story with Eleanor Walker.

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