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Examiner
  • Principal chosen for new westside elementary school

  • Although it was not a difficult decision to lave the Seneca School District for a position at Independence’s newest elementary school, it was an emotional one for Susan Barnes.

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  • Although it was not a difficult decision to lave the Seneca School District for a position at Independence’s newest elementary school, it was an emotional one for Susan Barnes.
    “I have been at Seneca for eight years and have the utmost respect for my faculty and the community. My staff and I have come a long way together, and I am very proud of what we have done for our students,” she said. “However, I am always up for a challenge and want to continue to learn and grow.”
    Barnes has been named principal of the Independence School district’s newest school in Sugar Creek, which has yet to be named. A 25-year veteran in education, she is currently principal at Seneca Elementary School in the southwest corner of Missouri. Her other teaching experience includes positions in pre-kindergarten, third, fifth and sixth grades and 13 years as principal.
    Barnes also has experience as an instructional leader and professional development and curriculum facilitator. She has a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Kentucky and a specialist degree in administration from Missouri State University.
    “The Independence School District states on their website that that they strive to be progressive and to provide the highest quality education for their students. After looking at their programs, initiatives, student achievement, partnerships and the way they ‘do business,’ I believe that is true,” she said. “It is exciting to be a part of an organization whose decisions are based on the potential of students and whose educators know that the future for our kids will be different from what we know today. Of course, it is extremely exciting to open a new building. Beginnings have such promise.”
    Barnes said she believes the experience she has gained from her role as an administration in a small school district will be advantage to her in Independence because she has learned how to “wear many hats.” She said she has also learned a lot as principal about instruction in all content areas and is confident in the role of instructional leader.
    “I believe it is important for students to be actively involved their learning. I want to create a structure that supports them in setting their own goals, monitoring their progress and celebrating their successes,” she said. “Students need to be able to think for themselves, take initiative, get along with others, be responsible and solve problems. The decisions we make in our schools must always focus on what is best for our kids.”
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