Mon, Jan. 27

C-OC changing principals at two schools
Kennedy replacing Stadelman, Koeppe going to CES

After 11 years at Cottonwood Middle School, five of those as principal, Michelle Stadelman is resigning to spend more time with her family.

Denise Kennedy, the current principal at Cottonwood Elementary School, will replace her. Randy Koeppe, assistant principal at the middle school, will head to CES to replace Kennedy as principal.

Stadelman said she will be working with her husband, an attorney. "I'm looking forward to working with my family and being a stay-at-home mom," she said. She has three grown stepsons and one 6-year-old son, Tanner.

After beginning her career in education as a third-grade teacher in Tucson, then as principal for three years, Stadelman came to Cottonwood and taught sixth grade for three years. She then moved up to assistant principal for three years before being promoted to principal five years ago.

She said she will miss the people most. "That's parents, the kids and the staff," she said.

"But I'm leaving the place in good hands," Stadelman said. "Denise has taught middle school before so she is fully aware."

Kennedy took over as principal of CES at the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year. She replaced Barbara U'Ren who was promoted to director of Educational Services for the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District. The current school year completes her third year as principal of CES.

Before becoming principal at CES, Kennedy taught as a classroom teacher in the district before spending two years as the district's English Language Learner Program coordinator.

Kennedy said she's had a unique experience as principal at CES because the first year it was a kindergarten through fifth-grade campus and then a third- through fifth-grade campus for two years.

Kennedy said Stadelman is leaving a "well-oiled machine" behind. "It will be easy because of how well she's done," she said.

Although Kennedy won't take over at CMS until the fall, she said the transition is already under way.

The staff and the kids are what Kennedy said she will miss most about being at CES. She said she will still get to see the kids, she'll just be seeing them when they're a little older.

But Kennedy looks forward to the stimulation of change. She said anyone in education has to enjoy change because it is constant.

Koeppe taught math at CMS for 18 years before becoming assistant principal for two years.

He said that during his first year as principal at CES he will do a lot of observing and learning.

"I'm looking forward to it," Koeppe said. He thinks the age group that he'll be working with will be enjoyable. His own three children are now in the same age group. "It's a great age," he said.

Although Koeppe will miss the staff and students at CMS he feels the new job is a great opportunity. "I'm really excited to try a change," he said.

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