School Board to Vote on Hiring New Johnson Principal, Instructional Services Director

By Meryn Fluker, Reporter

Elementary students enter Johnson School of the Arts in southeast Cedar Rapids on Friday, Sept. 23, 2005. About 290 of its 320 students walk daily to and from school, an unusually high percentage. (DUANE CROCK Duane Crock/The Gazette)

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Administrators in the Cedar Rapids Community School District have looked in house to fill two empty positions.

On Monday, April 8 the Cedar Rapids school board is set to vote on whether to approve Candi Lynch and Karla Ries as the respective new principal at Johnson School of the Arts and district director of instructional services.

Lynch is currently an elementary student services facilitator for the district and would be taking over a role most recently held by Kevin Uhde, who announced his retirement in February. If board members approve hiring Lynch, she will become Johnson's third principal in four years.

Mary Ellen Maske, associate superintendent and part of the hiring process, listed a number of qualities that made Lynch the best candidate for the position, despite having no experience as an elementary school principal.

"Her background is all in building positive cultures and she’s perfect fit for Johnson," Maske said.

Ries, who is currently listed as a district professional development facilitator, will take over for Sandy Stephen, who has held a number of positions during her more than four decades with the Cedar Rapids district. Stephen announced her retirement in late February.

Pending board approval at the Monday, April 8 regular meeting, both Lynch and Ries are scheduled to begin their new positions on Monday, July 1.

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