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West Middle School principal to retire

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After three decades of service to Lawrence Public Schools, Kathy Branson will retire at the end of June, the district announced Monday.

Branson, who was named interim principal at West last June, was promoted to the permanent principal position in February. Before that, she served as assistant principal and athletic director for nine years and taught math for 19 years at West, according to the district’s news release.

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“When I was hired 29 years ago to teach math and geography at West Junior High, I never imagined the career I would have here,” Branson said in the release. “West Middle School is a special place, and I consider myself lucky to have been part of it for so many years and to end my career as principal. Having had the opportunity to have my former students’ children at West reminds me of the importance of the relationships and connections that we work so hard to build every day. I appreciate the connections I have with this community.”

“While people have changed over the years, the constant has always been the dedicated, professional, and caring staff at West,” Branson continued, according to the release. “I am thankful to the staff for believing in me this year and proud of the hard work we have accomplished. I will always consider West staff to be family.”

Superintendent Anthony Lewis said in the release that he was grateful for the contributions Branson had made to the WMS school community.

“I hope she enjoys good health, happiness, and many exciting adventures with her family in retirement,” he said.

Branson’s retirement is pending board approval; if approved, it will take effect June 30, according to the release.

The district is evaluating open positions as part of its budget planning process, according to the release.

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