A familiar face will take the reins of the Glen Rose Intermediate campus next school year.

On Monday, the Glen Rose ISD board of trustees unanimously approved the appointment of current Intermediate Assistant Principal Laurin Mapes to replace outgoing Principal Susan McCarty who will retire from the district after a 37-year career in public education.

Trustees met in executive session for nearly an hour to discuss the hiring of Mapes as the campus’s new principal and reconvened to approve GRISD Superintendent Wayne Rotan’s recommendation to promote her as the Intermediate’s top administrator.

“Mrs. Mapes has been a teacher on special assignment with administrative duties at the Intermediate school, basically serving as assistant principal for the past four years,” said Rotan. “She’s been a big part of that campus’s success and worked in the planning of that success.”

“With her coming in she knows the campus, the teachers and the students,” Rotan said. “There’s not going to be any transition time because she’ll be able to hit the ground running by maintaining the past successes and continuing them in the future.”

Mapes began her career in public education 28 years ago serving as a fourth grade teacher in Lacy, Wash. In 1992, she relocated to Texas and taught third through fifth grades, including students in a gifted and talented program at Midlothian ISD. She joined GRISD in 2004 as a teacher on special assignment at the Intermediate campus, a school that has experienced academic success in recent years after receiving a “Recognized” rating from the Texas Education Agency.

“I want to carry forward all the positive things we’ve started and are working towards on our campus,” Mapes said upon receiving her promotion. “We have great students, quality teachers and our TAKS scores continue to get better and better.”

Among plans for the school year next fall, Mapes says she hopes to increase parent-student involvement within the school and community. “I think my big push will be to get a parent involvement group going. That’s the vision I want to tackle this upcoming school year.”

Mapes, who has two children attending Glen Rose schools, said she encourages all parents of students who will attend the Intermediate campus next year, especially those of incoming third graders, to stop by the school this summer to visit. “We have an open door policy and invite all parents and community members to come in and visit.”

The school’s administration will be on campus Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer.

The new Intermediate principal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Texas A&M University in 1989 and obtained her Masters in Education and Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2003. Mapes also holds a Gifted and Talented Endorsement from Texas Women’s University, which she earned in 2001.

In 1992, Mapes also had the opportunity to implement her teaching experience overseas, serving in a teacher exchange program in the former Soviet Union.

Among her teaching certifications, Mapes holds an Elementary Teaching (1st through 6th grades) license, Reading Specialist (1st through 8th grades) certificate and an English as a Second Language (ESL) certification, plus a School Administrator’s license.

The superintendent reported that a total of 52 individuals from across the state applied for the Intermediate principal’s position, with 11 being interviewed by the district’s Campus Leadership Team.

Rotan said the committee consisted of himself, a teacher from each grade level, school counselors, and GRISD’s curriculum and personnel directors. “During the interview process Ms. Mapes rose to the top.”

Mapes will officially begin her duties on July 1 and was offered a one-year contract with the district. Rotan said details of the new principal’s contract have not yet been determined, including salary and benefits.

McCarty, the campus’s outgoing principal will continue her employment through June 30, upon which time she will enter retirement after serving as the Intermediate principal since 2002.

With the promotion of Mapes, Rotan said it leaves a vacancy for the Intermediate’s assistant principal position. “We’ll begin advertising for an assistant principal, hopefully this week. We would like to have someone named at the next school board meeting, June 23.”

Along with the addition of Mapes, GRISD’s trustees unanimously approved the addition of two new hires at their regular monthly board meeting earlier this week.

Marion Coffman, a teacher’s aide at Glen Rose Junior High for the past two years, was hired to teach Life Skills at the Intermediate campus. A native of Louisiana and graduate of Louisiana State University, Coffman has 16 years of experience in public education.

The board of trustees also approved the hiring of Matthew Kienbaum who will join the staff of GRJHS as a theater arts instructor. A graduate of Angelo State University and a former U.S. Army Reservist based out of Fort Sam Houston, Kienbaum brings 12 years of teaching experience to GRISD. He is currently teaching at Kopperl High School and previously served Whitney ISD and Valley Mills ISD, and was a teaching assistant at ASU for four years.