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The search is over for new HHS principal

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On Thursday, February 1, in a USD 415 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Lonnie Moser announced that Lori Fordyce will be Hiawatha High School’s new principal beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

            The search for a suitable principal began in early December of 2017. The board began by meeting with high school staff to develop a list of attributes they would appreciate in their new principal. They were looking for someone organized, with expertise and leadership skills. With these attributes in mind, the superintendent listed the job opening on kansasteachingjobs.com. The opening was listed from December 1, 2017 to January 16. Moser required a resume and cover letter with references. The Board received 12 completed applications. Four finalists were picked from the pool.

“You generally can tell who will be best [from the applications],” said Moser.

The finalists separately participated in a 30 minute tour of the school with interim principal Alan Jeffery and were able to ask him questions. Following that, they had a 30 minute meeting with select students and parents.

I think high school students are certainly capable of providing input.  This gives them some voice,” said Moser.

The student-parent group involved included students Kaiser Isaac, Eva Peters, Kade Tollefson,  and Raven Stroud and parents Wendy Pederson, Betty Brennan, Nancy Dvorack and Jason Dvorack.

When I met her, she radiated confidence. She was easy to talk to and she made me feel important. I’m very excited to have her as our new principal next year. I think she will do great things for our school,” Peters said when asked about her impression of Fordyce.

Afterwards, candidates participated in an open meet-and-greet with high school staff. Finally, the finalists met with a formal interview committee for one hour. The committee consisted of teachers Brent Krauter, Ann Severin, and KaCee Thompson, secretary Lisa Swanson, board members John Wright and Tom Simmer, Vice Principal Kim Lillie, and Superintendent Lonnie Moser.

Following extended research, the board voted 7-0 for Fordyce.

Fordyce lives near Powhattan on a farm with her husband, Luke, and their son. She has 11 years of experience as a business teacher at Central High School in St. Joseph, Mo., and two years teaching business and computer classes in Ridgeway, Mo.