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Longtime Osage City math teacher Dena Paul, assisting eighth-grade student Lance Hultgren, has been hired as principal of Osage City Elementary School.

DeAun Michael | Reporter

OSAGE CITY—A longtime Osage City teacher is making the move from the classroom to the principal’s office. Beginning Aug. 1, Osage City Middle School math teacher Dena Paul will begin a new phase of her professional career as Osage City Elementary School principal.

Paul, who has lived in Osage City almost all of her life, attended Emporia State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in education. She completed her master’s degree in education administration from ESU in 1992.

The majority of Paul’s teaching career has been spent in USD 420 where she has taught junior high and middle school math for over 20 years.
Paul’s presence goes far beyond the classroom in the Osage City school district. In addition to serving on numerous committees, she has been junior high girls’ basketball coach, assistant and head middle school cheerleader sponsor and pep club sponsor, high school track coach, assistant high school girl’s basketball coach, and math contest sponsor.
She also started the Builder’s Club program at Osage City Junior High, and served as the club’s sponsor for many years. As sponsor of the Builder’s Club, a Kiwanis International youth program, Paul provided the opportunity for many Osage City students to learn the importance of community service and develop leadership skills.

As the new elementary principal, Paul hopes to foster an atmosphere of teamwork between herself and the elementary school staff.

“I really want to make decisions with the staff as a team and start emphasizing the vision established for the elementary school building,” Paul said.

She explained she will begin her tenure with several areas of focus, which include providing an exciting learning environment for students, as well as providing stability and support to teachers.

“I think there are things we can do as a school that will motivate our students to want to do more,” she said.

Paul also said she wants to make sure administration, staff and students promote the elementary school. One of the programs she would like to reintroduce is the K-Kids organization, also a Kiwanis Club sponsored program, which provides elementary students opportunities for leadership development and community service.

Paul said she had considered applying for the principal position last year when it was open. She decided to put off the move in order to learn more about different instructional strategies being utilized by the elementary staff. She attended workshops last summer on these strategies and then applied them in her own classroom this year. She said she believed obtaining this background would make her a better instructional leader in the elementary school. When the position re-opened this spring she felt it was the right time to try to make the move.

Paul and her husband, Jim, have two children. Their daughter, Kady, is a 2009 Osage City High School graduate. She is currently a sophomore at Johnson County Community College. She will be attending Emporia State University next fall to study elementary education. Their son, Tracer, is a junior at Osage City High School. Paul’s parents, Don and Bertie Lou Wymore, have lived in Osage City for over 40 years.

The USD 420 Board of Education approved Paul’s employment as principal for the 2011-2012 school year at a March 30 special meeting after interviewing five applicants.