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New principal hired at Harrodsburg's Harlow Elementary

August 12, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - Harrodsburg Independent School District has a good reputation across the state, Karen Hatfield says, and it is one of the factors that led her to take the principal's job at Evan Harlow Elementary School.

Hatfield was hired after Robert Brown resigned to take a job with the Professional Standards Board in Frankfort. Her most recent job was as principal at two small Bath County schools. She had worked in the Bath County system for 10 years, and her youngest child had graduated from high school and was heading to college.

Hatfield saw the two facts as a time to move on. She graduated from Morehead State University and got her doctorate at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. She taught elementary school for nine years in Martin County; she is a native of Inez, Martin County's county seat.

While she wanted to move to another professional opportunity, she did not seek just any jobs. "I was very selective about the positions I applied for," she said Monday afternoon. She only sought out four positions: two superintendents' jobs, a job with the state Department of Education and the Harlow vacancy.

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"This district is highly respected around the state," she said of the Harrodsburg school district. "It is known to be well run with high standards and being about kids." Working with very young children, teaching them to read is both a huge responsibility and a great opportunity, she said.

She was happy with what she found at Harlow, and she praised Brown for the work he did before he left. "Mr. Brown set me up to succeed," she said. He had made class assignments and schedules, tasks a new principal might find daunting during the first days of the school year.

"It tells me he really cared about this school."

She is happy with other facets of her job, especially her coworkers whom she said are both very professional and very nice. "I can't tell you how pleased I am with the staff."

"Any school can do what it does better," Hatfield said. She sees technology as one field in which Harlow can grow. The school already has a computer lab and computers in the classroom, but it could be better.

"It's an area we can make some serious strides in fairly quickly."

Asked about the tight budgets across the state, she said, "If we can be conservative and careful, we'll be fine."



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