New Rock Bridge head on the way

A new principal will likely come from district ranks.
Thursday, July 19, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:44 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 28, 2008
ANDY KOHL resigned as principal of Rock Bridge High School on Wednesday. He plans to move to Kansas City.

Columbia Public Schools will announce a replacement for Rock Bridge High School’s principal Andy Kohl today or Friday.

Kohl announced his resignation to Rock Bridge staff Wednesday afternoon via e-mail. His replacement will most likely be hired from within the district, assistant superintendent Lynn Barnett said.

“It’s a very difficult time of year because people are already under contract,” she said. According to Barnett, a replacement brought in from outside the district could already have an existing contract.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Kohl e-mailed:

“Staff, I have thoroughly enjoyed leading you as a staff over the last two years. You are an incredible group of educators. Originally, it was my plan to continue to serve you through the next school year, even though my family moved to Kansas City, but my plans have changed. This summer I have realized just how difficult it is to be separated from my wife and children. I will be resigning my position to join my family, I am sorry this decision comes so late in the summer, but my family has to take priority. Good luck this year, you and Rock Bridge will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for allowing me to serve. Andy”

Assistant superintendent Wanda Brown would not comment on whether district administrators had any prior knowledge of his departure. Kohl’s Columbia home has been listed for sale for nearly three weeks, according to Columbia’s House of Brokers.

Rock Bridge assistant principal Kathy Ritter said that the decision was a personal one. “Everyone certainly understands his need to be with his family,” she said.

Although the resignation leaves little time for adjustment before the new school year, Ritter does not anticipate many problems.

“It’s a strong and close staff,” she said. “Based on things that have gone on in the past, I know that they will pull together to make the transition smooth.”

Kohl will keep in contact with the district until around Oct. 1 to help his replacement with the transition, Barnett said.

“He will certainly be a consultant with us until that point,” she said.

Barnett said she did not know what Kohl’s plans were when he gets back to Kansas City.

Kohl succeeded Bruce Brotzman as the school’s principal in July 2005. Before that, he was an associate principal at Truman High School in Independence, where he worked for four years.

He and his wife, Susan, have three children, Ryan, Isaac and Maggie, the Missourian reported in 2005.

Kohl could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

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