Columbia Independent School names new director of Middle and Upper schools

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 | 5:45 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia Independent School named Diane Bruckerhoff as the new director of its Middle and Upper schools Monday. Bruckerhoff is an assistant principal at Rock Bridge High School.

She will replace Doug Sept, director of the Upper School, who resigned in January, and Carlynn Trout, director of the Middle School, who resigned in February, according to a previous Missourian article.

Both resignations will go into effect at the end of the school year, and Bruckerhoff will start her job this summer.

Interim Head of School Charles McClain was in charge of evaluating applications to fill the position. He said Bruckerhoff impressed him by leading cooperatively, rather than in a top-down style.

"I was overwhelmed by the support she's had with the people with whom she's worked," McClain said. "We feel she'll be an excellent leader."

Bruckerhoff comes to the school after holding many positions in Columbia Public Schools, including district coordinator, counselor and summer school principal. At one point, she designed the health curriculum for the district, according to a previous Missourian article.

McClain said he hopes Bruckerhoff will tap into her experience to continue Columbia Independent School's "tradition of excellence."

He said that as an undergraduate at MU, Bruckerhoff enrolled as a pre-journalism major. She did well academically but switched paths, receiving a bachelor's degree in nursing, as well as master's degrees in education, counseling and administration and an education specialist degree.

"She has a very rich background of work in education in many different areas. ... She's really kind of a Renaissance person in that regard," McClain said.

The Middle and Upper schools include grades 6 through 12. Bruckerhoff will coordinate curriculum for students in those grades and serve as an administrator and leader for Columbia Independent, according to a news release.

The school is searching for a new head of the school after Scott Gibson resigned in late February, telling the school's board of trustees he wanted to take another position. Gibson had served as head of school since March 2009.

The private college preparatory school, formerly located downtown, moved to a new campus at 1801 N. Stadium Blvd. in August 2009.

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