Lawrence school district announces new administrator, interim principals for Pinckney and Prairie Park

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The Lawrence school district on Friday announced three new administrator selections.

Dr. Jana Craig-Hare will fill the position of director of data and assessment. Craig-Hare is completing her fourth year as director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for the Baldwin City school district. She also serves this spring as interim assistant principal of Baldwin High School, according to the district’s news release.

“Lawrence Public Schools’ executive director of data and technology, Dr. Zachary Conrad, resigned, effective June 30, 2022, to accept a similar position with the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. The restructuring of the executive director position to a director-level position was part of $577,441 in administrative cuts contained in the more than $6.4 million in budget reductions approved by the board in April,” according to the release.

Craig-Hare said in the release that the Lawrence school district “has a great reputation for meeting the needs of all children.”

“The educators I have previously worked with in Lawrence are all amazing! I’m excited to share my passion for using data to support teachers in improving student learning outcomes,” she said.

Dr. Jennifer Schmitt will be interim principal of Pinckney Elementary. She is currently assistant principal at Lawrence High School. She joined the Lawrence High administrative team in 2020 after serving two years as an instructional learning coach at Billy Mills Middle School, and prior to that taught Spanish, according to the release.

Schmitt will take over following the resignation of Miah Lugrand.

“I am honored to move into this role at Pinckney Elementary,” Schmitt said in the release. “It has been an absolute pleasure serving the students, staff, and families of LHS, and I look forward to taking that same care and dedication to the equally-special Pinckney school community.”

Jason Townsend will be interim principal of Prairie Park Elementary. He is currently an academic interventionist at West Middle School. He joined the district in September, according to the release. He was previously an elementary principal in Spring Hill and Wellsville, according to the release.

Townsend will succeed Principal Chalita Middleton, who plans to resign at the conclusion of her first year at Prairie Park after accepting a human resources director position in the Kansas City, Kansas, public school district, according to the release.

Townsend said that leaving West will be bittersweet; however, “I am excited for this opportunity to connect and work as a team with the students, families, and staff of Prairie Park Elementary School.

“I look forward to being a visible and active part of the school community and building strong relationships as we all continue to grow as individuals and as a community,” he said in the release.

All positions will be effective July 1, pending school board approval.

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