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School opens door to new principal

With a new school year about to start, the Open Door school will get a new principal.

On Tuesday, the board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities hired Kendra Kelley to be the new principal of the Open Door school in Ironton.

And for Kelley —

who got her start at Open Door eight years ago — it’s a bit of a homecoming.

“I am so excited,” she said. “I think we are going to have a really good year. I’ve set my expectations high and I think we can reach them.”

MRDD Superintendent Paul B. Mollett said he was very excited about hiring Kelley.

“I think she is going to be an excellent leader for the school and do great things for the kids,” he said. “She is very dedicated to bringing the best program that she can create with her staff for the children.”

Mollett said that Kelley brings an enthusiasm to the job.

“You need that,” he said. “She has a commitment and again, an enthusiasm for bringing the best services that we can possibly create into the lives of school-age children who are challenged so greatly.”

Kelley said she chose an MRDD school because she felt that is where her heart was.

“They are an absolute joy to work with,” Kelley said.

Kelley, who lives in Huntington, WVa.,

had four children before she decided to go back to school and get her teaching degree.

“I just saw a need for caring teachers that wanted the best for children,” she said. “And I wanted to be one of those people.”

After two years at Open Door, she taught at South Point Elementary School.

This is Kelley’s first stint as a principal.

“I wanted to be in a position where I could do the most for all students,” she said. For the past two years she went through the Rural Principalship Program with Dr. William Larson at Ohio University.

Although the school year hasn’t officially gotten underway yet, Kelley said she has a few ideas of what she would like to accomplish.

“I would like to work on integrating more programs with the county school system and get some of the students more out into the public,” she said, adding that she is looking forward to working at Open Door again.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the kids that were here when I was here before and how much they’ve grown,” Kelley said. “I hope they are as excited to see me.”

Open Door school has a staff in-service day today and classes begin on Thursday.