Lesa Frantz will replace Principal Gary Freeman, who is retiring July 1 after 23 years at Pinckney School.
The principal of Basehor Elementary School has been named the new principal at Pinckney School in Lawrence.
Lesa Frantz, 38, who lives in Lawrence, will replace Gary Freeman, who is retiring July 1 after 23 years at the school, 610 W. Sixth.
"I've heard so many great things about Pinckney, the wonderful staff and the community there," Frantz said Thursday night. "I'd like to build on the great traditions that they already have there and work together with the school community and the community at large."
When Frantz took the job at Basehor Elementary School four years ago, she and her husband, Danny, chose to live in Lawrence. Now, she's eager to be closer to her twin 18-month-old daughters, Summer and Ariana. And she's looking forward to working in a smaller school. About 250 students are enrolled at Pinckney.
"My school now has 670 students, and I really like to work with the kids as directly as I can, and I just can't do it as I would like to in my school," she said.
Frantz has been principal at Basehor Elementary School since 1992. Before that, she was principal for seven years at a school for kindergartners through eighth-graders in Alma. She was also a vocal music and band teacher for six years at West Indianola Grade School in the Seaman school district north of Topeka.
She earned two degrees from Washburn University in Topeka -- a bachelor's in music education in 1979 and a master's in education administration in 1984.
Frantz was chosen from a field of about 35 initial applicants that was whittled down to five finalists.
"From both the interview and on-site visit, she obviously works well with people," said Supt. Al Azinger. "Both the teachers and parents there were extremely complimentary about her ability to bring together a diverse group of people and have them work together in positive ways. It was very obvious that she cares a whole lot about kids."
Azinger said he enjoyed seeing Frantz interact with students in her building.
"She knew all the kids by name," he said. "They knew her. They would come up and hug her."