Area educator hired as principal

Area educator hired as principal

PAXTON – Barry Wright, the former assistant principal at Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School, will be the new principal at Eastlawn Elementary.

After the school board boiled down the list from 30 candidates, board members held interviews with three finalists, and Wright separated himself from the others, according to Superintendent Cliff McClure. The board approved the appointment in a special meeting earlier this week.

"I want to make sure Barry understands, everybody understands, that we didn't necessarily want to keep it in house, but in the competition, Barry was by far the best candidate and he deserved the position," McClure said.

Wright taught at Rantoul Township High School from November 1995 to May 1997. In August of that year, Wright became a PBL High School science teacher until he took the assistant principal's job at the junior high in August 2006.

The Loda resident also has nine years experience coaching football, including eight at PBL.

"When I was offered the job, it was kind of one of those things where it's overwhelming, kind of shocking, so I wanted to go home and discuss it with my family," Wright said. "But, I was pretty sure I was going to take it."

Wright said he is excited to take the position and is glad he has experience from coordinating summer school for K-8 students.

"I've got some experience with that younger age group," Wright said. "It has eliminated some of the uncertainty I would have had otherwise."

PBL School Board President Mike Short is glad that a local has gotten the job.

"It's good when you can promote within," Short said. "It's good when you can do that with somebody like Barry who has proven himself and worked hard. He's done everything we've asked him to.

"Some people don't think we hire enough local people. Here, a local guy was given an opportunity and he took it. He earned this position, quite frankly. We're thrilled."

Wright will have a 12-month contract and be paid $67,500 in his first year.

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Topics (1):Education
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Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County