Deerfield Elementary principal announces plans to retire

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Joni Appleman, principal of Deerfield Elementary, has announced that she plans to retire at the end of June, according to a Friday news release from the Lawrence school district.

Appleman, who is in her 18th year at Deerfield and her 24th year as a school administrator in Lawrence Public Schools, has previously served at Woodlawn Elementary and the former Grant school. She also taught in Topeka.

“I have had the privilege of working with dedicated, caring staff and wonderful students and families, and for that, I am truly grateful,” Appleman said in the release. “I am also extremely proud of the accomplishments of our school community. We have the rest of the school year together to continue Deerfield’s forward progress.”

Appleman said in the release that she’s excited for those opportunities, and for what lies ahead in retirement.

Superintendent Anthony Lewis said in the release that Appleman is one of the district’s longest-serving principals, and that she’s a go-to when her colleagues need guidance, information and resources.

“She has developed strong bonds with her staff and community, which has become a close-knit school family,” Lewis said in the release. “Understanding her high expectations and how much their principal cares about their success, Deerfield students always want to give their best effort.”

The district plans to develop an advisory committee of Deerfield teachers, staff and parents to assist in the interview process for the next principal, according to the release. That committee will provide feedback to the superintendent, who will then recommend a new principal candidate to the Lawrence school board.

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