Harlan Independent Schools Superintendent David Johnson announced Thursday the hiring of a new principal for their elementary school after the retirement of principal Donna Bushnell. Former Director of Student Services at Harlan Independent School District Mary Lou McCarthy was named for that position.
“We’re very excited to have Mrs. McCarthy as the new principal of Harlan Elementary School,” said Johnson. “She brings 26 years in education to her new position, with 20 or more of those years of that being in administration, bringing a great deal of experience to the position. She works extremely well with staff and with families. We’re very confident she’ll do an excellent job as our next principal.”
McCarthy said she is “honored and excited” about assuming her new position.
“I love working with the children and families in our area,” said McCarthy. “I fell like it’ll be a wonderful experience for me. Mrs. Bushnell has left everything in such good order and the staff she has chosen and put in place is wonderful. She has done an excellent job. I really, at this point, just plan to go in and take over where she has left off. There’s a lot of changes in elementary curriculum that I’ll have to study up on, but I’m up for the challenge. My degree is in elementary education and honestly, I felt led to do this. Everything is just falling into place like it was supposed to. I feel like God has a plan for me in being hired for this position.”
McCarthy previously taught first and second grades, worked as a counselor at the elementary school and even did a short stint as principal at the elementary school before moving to the director of student services position.
“I’m real familiar with the children and families having worked with them through the food services program, extended school services, home bound program, health services and home schooled program,” said McCarthy. “I’m looking forward to focusing on one area.”
Johnson said McCarthy will begin her new position on July 1.
“She’ll be working with Mrs. Bushnell during June to make a smooth transition into the new school year,” said Johnson. “The elementary school council worked diligently on this selection process and they are to be commended for their hard work.”
McCarthy and her husband, Dave, reside in Harlan. They have three children and one grandchild.