New Principal Hired For Frontier Elementary School

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Paula Patterson has been hired as the principal of Frontier Elementary School.

Her contract was approved during a special school board meeting Tuesday.

District Superintendent Casey O'Brien said he is confident in his choice.

"Ms. Patterson has a background of excellence she brings with her," he said. "She is an instructional leader and brings a record of academic excellence, which I am sure will benefit the students and community here in Payson."

O'Brien said he was only able to offer Patterson a salary equivalent to that of an assistant principal at elementary schools in Phoenix.

"Our budget only allows so much for salaries," O'Brien said. "I am very thankful Ms. Patterson accepted our offer."

Patterson comes to Frontier Elementary from the Deer Valley School District, where she taught fifth grade, as well as other elementary grades, at different times.

Patterson also has experience as an interim principal during her teaching career.

O'Brien said he expects Patterson to assume her new position in early July.

School bond construction

In other school news, groundbreaking for construction and improvements to Payson High School and Payson's three elementary schools is scheduled to take place in late September or early October, said Henry Halikowski, project manager for the construction consulting firm Pinnacle One, at a Monday meeting of the Payson school board.

"We are working on designs and schematics for the proposed additions and improvements and are shooting for an October starting date," Halikowski said. "I met with W.E. O'Neil Construction (Monday) about Julia Randall Elementary, and they tell me they expect to have them ready by July 3 or 5."

Designs should be approved by the board by Aug. 28, Halikowski said.

Payson voters approved proposed additions to Payson's schools in a bond election in November 2006, which granted $20 million to Julia Randall Elementary and $7 million to Rim Country Middle School, as well as allocating funds to Payson High School for improvements.

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