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Paynesville Press - May 18, 2005

School board hires new 6-12 principal

By Michael Jacobson

Last week, the Paynesville Area School Board approved hiring Lorie Floura, who currently is the K-12 principal at Truman, Minn., to replace retiring secondary principal John Janotta, who is retiring at the end of the school year after 25 years in the district.

The secondary principal for the Paynesville Area School District is responsible for both the Paynesville Area Middle School and Paynesville Area High School. Janotta has been the high school principal in Paynesville for 25 years, adding the middle school duties in recent years.

The school board picked Floura from a field of 94 candidates. Three committees - board/administration, teachers, and staff/parents - interviewed seven candidates on Wednesday, April 26. The full school board interviewed four finalists, including Floura, at a special meeting on Tuesday, May 3.

The board then identified Floura as their top choice and directed superintendent Todd Burlingame to negotiate a contract. The board approved a one-year contract for Floura at its meeting on Tuesday, May 10. (Floura received a one-year contract - for the 2005-06 school year - because the administrative team is due to negotiate a new two-year deal with the district - for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years - next year.)

Floura's academic record, her personality, her openness, honesty, and approachability, her range of experience, and her curriculum and technology background led to her selection, according to Burlingame. "I think she's going to be a good fit," he said.

Floura received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where she was an All American swimmer. She taught science for six years in the Rosemount School District (at Rosemount High School for three years and at Falcon Ridge Middle School for three years) and has coached volleyball, swimming, and soccer.

She also taught science, as well as served as an administrative intern, at an alternative-learning center in Biwabik for a year and taught high school and middle school science in Aurora for a year before becoming the K-12 principal in Truman for the last three years.

Janotta will officially retire at the end of June this year, and Floura - who is married with two sons - will start in the district in July.

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