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Education

July 25, 2013

Former WW teacher hired as principal for new school year

DUNCAN — Lisha Condit Elroy is passionate about Woodrow Wilson Elementary students. And soon, she will get her chance to work with them again.

On Wednesday, the Duncan Board of Education approved changing Elroy’s contract to make her the new principal at Woodrow Wilson. This approval came during a special meeting and followed an executive session lasting less than 10 minutes.

Elroy will be taking over the position recently vacated by Carol Phipps, who is now the half-day assistant principal at EDGE Academy and half day administrative representative for district pre-kindergarten through fifth grade special education services.

“Thank you so much,” Elroy said to the school board. “I’m honored for the position. I really have a heart for the kids over there. I taught there a couple of years ago for two years.”

The 2013-14 school year will be Elroy’s seventh year with Duncan Public Schools. She was born and raised in Duncan, and is a Duncan High School graduate. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Cameron University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership, also from Cameron University. She completed her master’s program in 2012.

In her time at Duncan Public Schools, Elroy spent three years at Mark Twain Elementary teaching fifth grade. Her first interview for a job was with then principal JoAnn Pierce. Elroy said it was a bit intimidating being interview by Pierce because Pierce had taught her as a child.

“A lot of things I will strive to be and try to do are based on things I saw and learned there,” Elroy said.

After Mark Twain, her job position moved her to Woodrow Wilson, where she taught first grade. Her second year, she taught a kindergarten/first-grade split class.

The past year, Elroy has been working as an instructional coach at the Duncan Middle School and the Duncan High School. Although her focus was in elementary education, she said working with older students gave her a different perspective on education, which she hopes will help her become a stronger leader.

“I had a lot of support,” Elroy said. “The teachers were great.”

Through her position as instructional coach, Elroy worked with teachers to help with the transition from PASS Objectives to Common Core Standards. She said there was a lot of work with teachers to help them figure out how what they teach ties into Common Core.

“I love what I do; I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” she said. “It has been a great experience. I certainly look forward to the new challenges.”

As incoming principal, Elroy knows she’ll have some a void to fill with Phipps’ departure. But she said she’s up to the challenge.

She said she wants to start setting goals for students and teachers, helping everyone aim high to achieve more.

“My goal is to increase student achievement,” Elroy said. “That’s what we’ve seen in the last few years. Achievement is not where we want it to be.”

Elroy said there will be a lot involved in increasing student achievement, from getting the community and parents more involved to having teachers set a collaborative vision.

She said she wants to have a meeting with all the teachers to get them to set a vision they’d like to achieve for the students and the school. And once the teachers and students have a vision in mind, she said there will have to be a lot of work to maintain focus.

“We just have changes we’ll have to make,” Elroy said. “I know it’s in those kids.”

Aside from changing Elroy’s contract, the school board also hired Tiffany Queener as a Woodrow Wilson teacher on a temporary contract.

“I’m very, very excited to get to work here,” Queener said.

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