In the 2019-2020 school year, Lewis-Palmer students will be receiving a new principal. Mrs. O’Connor will be taking on the position in place of Mr. Karr at the beginning of next year. As Mr. Karr is leaving, Mrs. O’Connor will be promoted from assistant principal to principal of Lewis-Palmer High School.
Assistant principal Mrs. O’Connor currently oversees the Social Studies department, World Language department, and the Performing Arts department. She also works with Mrs. Nash, the freshman counselor, to oversee the freshmen class and works with Mr. Benton, counselor and coach, to oversee the junior class. She has a strong influence on the Sources of Strength committee and has goals to help with the staff connections committee and student connections. Moving into the position as principal, she continues to have many goals for the school.
“I hope to, number one, maintain the traditions at the school and the reputation of excellence that the school has developed,” O’Connor said. “I also really want to make sure that Lewis-Palmer is a place where every student feels that they belong, are proud of their school, and that they feel supported and loved by the staff here.”
The position for principal opened up upon hearing that Mr. Karr would be continuing his career in school involvement at a different school. Mrs. O’Connor, knowing she loved helping and teaching students, felt motivated to keep the school thriving in its excellence and school traditions.
“I honestly never intended for being a school principal to be the case, but I knew I always wanted to be a teacher because my teachers and coaches had a really big influence on me,” O’Connor said. “I really like leadership and I like being able to make a difference. After teaching at a really small school then moving to a really big school, I feel like Lewis-Palmer is just the right size. When I heard Mr. Karr was leaving I knew I knew I wanted LP to just stay awesome so I’m giving it a try.”
Keeping the school up in its excellence and traditions comes with responsibilities that the school principal must uphold. Mrs. O’Connor hopes to keep up with those responsibilities in order to keep the school as safe and inviting as possible.
“I think safety is obviously a really important piece right and now and I think safety encompasses a lot of things including physical safety but also making sure students feel safe emotionally and safe to be themselves. Connectedness is also important because the bigger we get, we having to be more intentional about making sure that students are connected to each other, are connected to the staff, and find their own path whatever that might look like,” O’Connor said.
Throughout the school years that she will be principal, Mrs. O’Connor has many goals and hopes for the school as a whole. Moving up from assistant principal, her roles in the school will shift and her focuses become more prevalent to the entirety of the school and the general well being of the students attending Lewis-Palmer.
“To be a school principal I believe that I should be caring, kind, and also holding people accountable,” O’Connor said. “I hope to have a relational outlook with the students and that students actually know who the principal is. I hope to be fun but also know that this is a place of learning and to know that those two things aren’t mutually exclusive and that they can be together. The hardest part about being a principal is that there is over a thousand students, over eighty staff, and trying to keep everyone happy and trying to balance when they have competing needs. I want to make sure I have the vision of every at LP in mind.”