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Examiner
  • Truman principal leaving for another district

  • Since Kristel Barr was a first year teacher, she aspired to move into an administrative role at the Central Office level.

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  • Since Kristel Barr was a first year teacher, she aspired to move into an administrative role at the Central Office level.
    The Truman High School principal has now found that opportunity, even though it means leaving the teachers, students and families at the Independence school.
    “The hardest part is leaving the students and staff,” she said. “I have been at Truman for 14 years, so I have had the time and opportunity to build some great relationships with teachers, staff members, students and their families.”
    Barr announced late last week that she would be leaving Truman for an administrative position in another school district. She said because the school board in that district has not approved the position yet, she is not comfortable with revealing details.
    However, according to the Raymore-Peculiar Board of Education’s agenda for Thursday night, Barr is on a list of new employees to be approved. She is listed on the personnel report as Director of Secondary Education and Student Services, replacing David Ulrich. The position would begin July 1.
    “I have aspired to be a district administrator for many years. The timing of this position just happened to work out at this time,” she said. “I hope they (the students and staff) all continue to move forward in their journey and meet with even greater success in the future. They are a wonderful group of people and have the potential to achieve greatness. I have absolute faith in that.”
    A 1994 graduate of the University of Missouri, her first position was as a teacher at Drumm Farm, which is now Independence Academy. After five years at Drumm Farm, she became an assistant principal/A-plus coordinator at Truman High School. In 2004, she became principal.
    Barr said while Truman has earned many honors over the years, that is not what makes her feel most proud.
    “I am most proud of the fact that our dropout rate has lowered, because this means we are saving more students and making sure they are graduating,” she said. “A high school dropout has a very dismal future, and the more we can do to lessen the number of kids who leave us without a diploma, the better their futures will be. I am also very proud of our focus on literacy. No one can truly meet with success in today’s world without literacy skills. Our continued focus on literacy has helped to make our graduates more successful.”
    When asked to describe Truman, Barr uses one word – home.
    “It reminds me of a family. We are all very different and yet there are some common values that hold us all together,” she said. “We celebrate together, we cry together, we deal with setbacks together, we push forward together. It is a safe place to disagree, it is a safe place to take risks. And at the core of all we do are the children.”
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