New principal named at Merit


GOSHEN — Drop the word “interim” from Kim Gallagher’s title at the Merit Learning Center.

The seasoned educator has officially been named principal at the alternative school after having served as the interim principal for the past year. The Goshen School Board members made the temporary appointment permanent at Monday’s board meeting. 

During the meeting, Steve Hope, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said Merit's governing board met recently and voted unanimously in favor of retaining Gallaher as the school’s principal. The governing board, Hope said, includes the superintendents of the Goshen, Baugo, Concord, Fairfield and Middlebury school districts, all of which are served by the school.

Merit Learning Center, located at 801 W. Wilkinson St. in Goshen, is an accredited alternative school that accepts juniors and seniors from five public school corporations in Elkhart County. It operates two sessions during the school day to allow for flexible scheduling. Apex learning is used to deliver much of the curriculum, according to the school’s website.

Giving a brief overview of her background, Hope said Gallagher has been serving Goshen Community Schools for 28 years. She started as a math teacher at the middle school and has served in a number of different teaching and administrative roles, most recently as assistant principal at Goshen High school and now interim principal at Merit.

“I would describe Kim as a quiet and steady leader who just comes in and does what’s needed every single day,” he said. “I try to stop by (Merit) at least once a week and have found positive comments from teachers and students alike.”

After the board’s approval, Gallagher said, “It’s been very interesting at Merit. I’ve been at middle, elementary and high school, and now alternative. It wasn’t necessarily what I was looking for at the beginning of the school year, but it has turned out to be a good place to be, and I really appreciate working with the staff there and the students. It kind of rejuvenated my heart for at-risk kids, not that everyone there falls into that category, but definitely, a good portion of them do. So, it’s been enjoyable, and I appreciate being able to continue.”

In other news:

The board also approved $575,851 contract from R. Yoder Construction in Nappanee for Phase 2 of the Chandler Elementary School renovation project this summer.

GCS Director of Finance Kelley Kitchen said the corporation received two bids for the summer project with R Yoder being the lowest bidder. The project includes repair of masonry walls, replacement of air handlers and minor upgrades to the faculty workspace that were submitted as alternates.

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