Lawrence school district names next principal of Deerfield Elementary School

Share this post or save for later

The Lawrence school district on Friday announced Summer Moeckel as Deerfield Elementary School’s next principal.

Pending the school board’s approval, Moeckel will begin in the position on July 1, according to a district news release. She’ll be transitioning from her current role as a curriculum and instructional coach at New York Elementary and New York Montessori schools.

“I feel deeply honored and humbled to serve as Deerfield’s next school leader. In meeting with staff, families, and community members, it is evident that all stakeholders work diligently together to achieve academic and social/emotional excellence for every learner,” Moeckel said in the release. “It is the privilege of a lifetime to be a small part of a collective effort to ensure that every student succeeds always, in all ways. Together, we will continue to inspire growth, foster self-worth, and prepare our scholars for an impactful future of lifelong learning.”

Moeckel will succeed Principal Joni Appleman, who is set to retire in June. Appleman has served as Deerfield’s principal for 18 years and was an administrator in the district for 24 years total.

Moeckel is in her second year as a curriculum and instructional coach at New York. Previously, she taught fourth grade students for one year at Broken Arrow Elementary School. 

Prior to joining the Lawrence school district, Moeckel was a second, third and fourth grade teacher for 16 years in Madison, Victoria, and Osawatomie, Kansas, according to the release. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fort Hays State University.

“I appreciate Mrs. Moeckel’s strong knowledge of and commitment to our district and her obvious passion and enthusiasm for this opportunity at Deerfield,” Superintendent Anthony Lewis said in the release. “She is highly respected as a skilled leader and problem-solver among our curriculum and instruction coaching team. Summer’s elementary teaching experience and excellent communication and relationship-building skills contribute to making her a great fit as Deerfield’s next principal.”

If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters

Click here to learn more about our newsletters first

This post is by the Lawrence Times news team.

If you have news tips, questions, comments, concerns, compliments or corrections for our team, please reach out and let us know what’s on your mind. Find our contact info (and a quick contact form) at

Follow us so you won’t miss the local news that matters most to you:

More USD 497 personnel changes:


Latest Lawrence news:


Previous Article

Defense attorney for teen charged in Lawrence boy’s shooting death asks court to sequester jury

Next Article

Obituary: James ‘Jim’ Frink