Hickman assistant principal to be recommended for principal job

Thursday, March 6, 2014 | 8:46 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Hickman High School assistant principal Eric Johnson will be recommended to the Columbia School Board as the school's new principal beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.

The board will vote Monday on the approval of Johnson as Hickman's next principal. The district opened the position to applicants nationally, and Johnson went through an interview process before he was chosen to be recommended.

Johnson said his local connection will make him a good fit for the school. He also said he plans to continue building on the programs the school already has in place.

Last month, Principal Tracey Conrad said she would retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year. She has been the principal at Hickman for the past four years and was an assistant principal for seven years before that.

Conrad decided to retire because after working in education for 30 years. She said she thought it was time to move on to the next phase of her life. She plans to move to Florida, where she owns a home.

"I'm ready to retire to where the winters aren't as drastic," she said.

Conrad said she thinks Johnson will do a fantastic job as principal.

"His leadership skills are really amazing," Conrad said.

Johnson said the thing he'll miss most about his old job is the daily conversations he could have with students, especially those most in need. As principal, he said he would still be in touch with students but would no longer directly supervise their attendance.

Before becoming the assistant principal at Hickman in 2010, Johnson was a teacher and teaching fellow at Rock Bridge High School. He was also the interim principal at Hickman for a period in 2013.

Johnson received his degree in education organizational leadership from MU and is working on his doctorate. Johnson received the MU College of Education Outstanding Young Professional Award in 2013.

Two other changes to administration personnel for the next school year were announced this week. Jill Dunlap Brown will succeed Mary Korth-Lloyd as principal of Rock Bridge Elementary School, and Randall Gooch will replace Linda Rawlings as director of the Columbia Area Career Center.

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

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