Kelso High School has found its next principal: It's Barnes Elementary School Principal Christine McDaniel, the district announced Thursday afternoon.

McDaniel will replace departing principal John Gummel, who will soon become the superintendent for the Pioneer School District in Shelton, Wash., and who was just named state high school principal of the year by the Association of Washington School Principals.

“Christine brings a strong sense of purpose and passion to our work,” Mary Beth Tack, incoming Kelso superintendent, said in a district press release. “She is deeply committed to serving the students, staff and families of Kelso High School.”

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According to the press release, McDaniel graduated from Kelso High School and taught at Barnes Elementary, Coweeman Middle School and Kelso High before becoming Barnes' principal in 2015. She has also served as an academic coach and mentor in the district.

“When I started teaching at Kelso High School in 2007, I never imagined I would one day have the great honor of leading the school,” McDaniel said in the press release. “I am incredibly appreciative to everyone I have had the opportunity to work with over my 22 years in this district."

A search for a new principal at Barnes has already begun, the press release stated.

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