Kara Raines Named New Principal At Athens Middle School

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In the wake of longtime principal Paul Grippa’s imminent retirement, the school district has hired Kara Raines to take his place.

“I’m honored to get to take the reins at this point and looking forward to it,” Raines said about her new role at the school.

Serving 28 years at the middle school, Grippa has begun every school day in the auditorium, welcoming students to another day of classes and has left a legacy for Raines to fill. However, serving as principal is not new territory for Raines and she is familiar with the time Grippa has spent at the middle school.

“I’ve been in education for 25 years and he (Grippa) has been in that building for 26 years as the administrator and I have a great deal of respect for him,” Raines said.

Living in Athens County all her life, Raines has spent her time in education doing a variety of jobs, such as teaching English at Ohio University and serving five years as principal at Alexander Middle School. She has taught seventh and eighth grade students and served as the director of curriculum for the Alexander Local School District.

The Athens School Board also signed Stephen Roach as assistant principal for Athens Middle School.

Although both Roach and Raines are new to the district, neither is new to the middle school environment. After serving as assistant principal for the Vinton County Middle School, Roach was voted in as principal for the 2013-2014 school year.

Coming into a new district comes with the possibility of challenges but she believes the current middle school staff will be there to guide her.

“I have learned a lot from Dr. Grippa in the past and I’m sure I will continue to learn from his legacy and his staff,” Raines said. “I just think that any time you get to go somewhere new and be around new people you learn and it’s very exciting.”

Raines’ administrative contract is set to last until July 2017 and Roach’s administrative contract until July 2016.