New Associate Principal

catherine prestoy, reporter

Next year, Free State will not endure as many alterations as it did this year. However, it will have some fresh staff changes.

Free State will be getting a new associate principal and guidance counselor. Patrick Kelly will be the new associate principal and Bryan Duncan will be the new counselor.

“[Bryan Duncan] has the skill to push students beyond their comfort zone while providing the necessary supports for success,” Principal Ed West said. “I believe Bryan’s skills will assist us as we work to match each student’s goals with the high school coursework required to achieve each goal.”

Duncan is an English teacher and the girls basketball team coach. However, starting next year he will be a full-time counselor.

“As an educator, both jobs are about working with, and helping, students,” Duncan said. “After 16 years of teaching, it will be a challenging but exciting time. I have enjoyed Free State and hope to stay for quite some time.”

Duncan has been teaching at Free State for 15 years but is excited to take the job.

“I look forward to learning from the other counselors and seeing our education system from another perspective,” Duncan said.

He plans to shadow other counselors and spend time in the summer learning more about the position.

Patrick Kelly will be brand new to Free State’s staff, but Principal West has the utmost confidence in him.

“Patrick Kelly brings an excellent array of skills to the associate principal position,” Principal West said. “Kelly is a dynamic public speaker, works long hours and can organize large-scale events. He is a people person who expressed a strong desire to get back to the building level.”

Kelly’s current job is as a curriculum specialist in charge of performing arts and careers in technical education.

“I taught high school for 12 years and enjoy working with teachers and students to prepare them for their next step in life, no matter what that is,” Kelly said. “I hope that my actions will inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.”

“From the teachers to custodians, administrative assistants to counselors, the team at Free State is phenomenal,” Kelly said. “I want to be part of that team. I hope to create strong relationships with the Free State community that will support the work we will do to improve teaching and learning for all students.”

“A core value I have is that every student should be prepared for their future. Beyond that, I need to learn more about Free State and visit with students and staff. It is important for a leader to have a vision and goals, but if we shape that together, our probability for meeting those goals is much higher.”