CNHI/Southeast Iowa

July 3, 2013

Ready for school


— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark.

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OTTUMWA -- Ottumwa's largest elementary school will have a larger front-office staff.

"Because of the size, we're actually going to staff it with two principals," said Davis Eidahl, Ottumwa school superintendent.

Liberty Elementary School is scheduled to open in August with the students from Douma, Agassiz and Pickwick elementary schools. That's more than 700 children.

The first principals at Liberty are Missy Carson-Roark, previously principal at Horace Mann Elementary School, and Dawn Sievertsen, most recently at James Elementary School.

"Each brings unique strengths, strengths that compliment each other," Eidahl said.

Though Liberty has four grades (second through fifth) attending, the principals won't split the building up, Eidahl said.

"There will be a team approach. It will be one building, one team. It will not be divided."

What about Ottumwa's southside principals? They're still needed, said Eidahl, and will take over northside schools left without a principal due to the opening of Liberty and the resignation of one administrator. Jeff Hendred, formerly at Douma, will be principal at Horace Mann. Jay Green, who ran both Wildwood and Pickwick elementary schools, will be back at James Elementary School. Dana Warnecke, the longtime principal at Agassiz Elementary School, will take over at Eisenhower.

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