7-2-08: Michelle Kocar
NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 7-2-08, by Jason Hawk
``AVON -- An Avon Lake alumnus is taking over as principal of Avon's Heritage South Elementary School.
Jason Call, 32, of Avon Lake, said it felt a little strange to go from being a Shoreman to an Eagle after the Avon school board voted Tuesday night to give him the job.
Call previously taught elementary pupils in Elyria and North Ridgeville for a combined eight years and was principal for two more years at Tennyson Elementary in Sheffield Lake.
He'll be moving to a much larger building this fall -- Tennyson holds 250 students, while Heritage South houses 530 -- and he said he's eager to get into the Avon school's halls.
"I'm really excited for this chapter in my life, and I hope it's a long chapter," Call said.
He earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and a master's degree from Ashland University.
His wife, Jennifer Call, teaches special education classes in Amherst, and he said he has a special interest in helping children with disabilities reach their full potential.
Call said he also can't wait to use distance-learning technology at Heritage South that lets pupils go on video field trips without ever leaving the classroom. He said the video hook-up lets children visit NASA, the Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Zoo or even teleconference with authors, all while sitting at their desks.
Avon Schools Superintendent Jim Reitenbach said Call will be 'a good fit' for the position, which was previously held by Michelle Kocar.
Kocar helped open Heritage South in 2005 and has moved on to become director of curriculum for Fairview Park Schools. More than 20 applicants were considered to fill the job ...''
Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 3-2-05, By Julie A. Short
``Michelle Kocar comes home, named Avon Heritage South Elementary principal
AVON -- As construction continues on Avon Heritage South Elementary School, the board of education approved the hiring of Michelle Kocar to head the new building that will house the district's third and fourth-graders next year [2005 - 2006]. She was awarded a two-year contract.
Michelle Kocar comes to the district from North Ridgeville where she served for two years as principal of Liberty Elementary School. Before that, she was the student services supervisor at North Ridgeville High School for two years.
"Michelle will be a great fit for our district," Superintendent Jim Reitenbach said. "She has a strong background in education and working with students. She will make a great addition to our administrative team."
In addition to the positions listed above, Michelle Kocar taught sixth and seventh grade at Parkside Middle School in Westlake for four years. She has also worked as a teacher in the Lakewood and Maple Heights City School Districts.
"Avon is our home," she said. "We've built so many close ties through what we do, especially with our children. It's like coming home. It was very important to my future and my family's that I remain close to home. This is a great community that has always been very supportive of its schools."
The opening of a new building can bring about its own host of challenges on top of starting a new job, but Michelle Kocar is ready for the experience ...
"Learning has to be fun," she said. "Going to school should not be a chore. I want to create an environment where students and teachers can come together sharing ideas and having fun along the way."
Michelle Kocar and Heritage North Principal, Brent Betts, will work together to foster the "campus-like" feeling planned between the two schools.
"Our buildings are an extension of each other," she said. "We've talked about sharing resources, as well as working together with our staffs for professional development."
The new principal holds a bachelor of arts degree in business and communications from Valparaiso University and a master's degree in education (elementary education and specific learning disabilities) from Baldwin-Wallace College.
She also holds an Administrative Specialist (Assistant Superintendent) license. Michelle Kocar is currently pursuing her doctorate degree through North Central University (Arizona). Additional professional affiliations include co-founder and co-facilitator of a literacy study group in conjunction with the Northern Ohio Special Education Regional Resource Center.
She is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Ohio Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Like many families who move to Avon, Michelle Kocar and her husband Ken, a teacher at Westlake High School, chose to raise their four children in Avon because of its excellent schools. Their oldest daughter, Katie, attends the middle school, their daughter, Karleigh, is a fifth-grader at Heritage North and the couple's twin sons, Tommy and Will, are kindergartners at Avon Village. The family is also active in Avon Little League where Michelle serves as safety director.''
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