Pioneer High School has a new interim principal.

Carol Townsend, who retired two years ago as principal of Depew High School, will lead the high school while the district searches for its next principal. 

Interim Superintendent Dennis Ford introduced Mrs. Townsend at the Pioneer Board of Education meeting on August 16. He said the principal search is expected to last through November or December.

Mr. Ford explained that administrative searches such as Pioneer's are best conducted when potential candidates are not currently serving on an interim or acting basis. Therefore, Katelyn Welker has shifted back to her original assistant principal position after serving as acting principal since March.

Mr. Ford said the district received a list of 14 interim principal candidates. He narrowed the list by looking for a recently retired principal with significant high school leadership experience. 

ABOVE: Carol Townsend.

Gradually the list was winnowed down to two candidates, and finally, to Mrs. Townsend. She said she worked in education 39 years, adding she was as an Industrial Arts teacher (mostly high school-level) before becoming an administrator.  She was Depew's principal for nearly 20 years.  She is also a 4-H mom.

"I'm very excited to be joining Pioneer. I've visited the building, talked with the administrators. You have an absolutely beautiful building, and I felt instantly comfortable," Mrs. Townsend said.

"I loved my job as principal. I loved coming to school every day, ready for whatever new challenges there were. I am looking forward to assisting you through this transition."

Later in the meeting the board approved an interim principal contract with Mrs. Townsend.  Her start date is August 22.