Buckner Principal Honored for Excellence

Jan 19, 2016

In her second year as Buckner Elementary School Principal, Karen Hile’s commitment to the staff, students and community has paid off, as she has been named the 2015-2016 New Exemplary Principal by the Kansas City Suburban Elementary Principals Association (KCSEPA), a regional division of the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP). 

Annually, nominations are received by area elementary and middle school administration. To be considered for this award, the principal must be in their second or third year as a principal, according to MAESP website, www.maesp.com. It describes the honorees as demonstrating “exemplary performance in the demonstration of skills that reflect the best in educational leadership.”  Hile is one of 12 to receive this honor in Missouri. 

In a Fort Osage School District press release, Hile’s colleagues anonymously praised her with the following attributes: “Over her first year and a half, Karen has done an excellent job uniting her staff! Karen is an inspirational leader who truly deserves to be recognized.”
“I am appreciative of Karen because she always brings solid curriculum and instruction ideas to our principal group. I can count on her for great advice and direction anytime.”
“She is an outstanding leader all around.”
Hile was surprised by the award and described it as “a really special moment in my life. As a new principal, I often look to others – who have more experience – for inspiration, so it’s nice to know I am also looked at as a person who could inspire others.”

Since she began her career in the Fort Osage School District, Hile has strived to set and achieve meaningful goals. One area of focus is providing her students with every opportunity to achieve academic success. “We have focused efforts on systems that were needed to offer additional educational support for the students who need a little extra help in learning. Additionally, we are also pushing the students who are rising above their grade expectations to develop deeper levels of learning,” she said. 

Beyond the realm of traditional education methods, Hile felt it was important for her staff and educators to think outside of the box. “I have tried to support efforts to discover and develop new outlets for learning,” she said. Hile recognizes the encouragement and support received from  the school district during her transition period as a contributing factor that make these efforts possible. “They have given us freedom to create our vision that we want for our students, teachers, families and community, and offered their resources to accomplish this vision,” Hile said. 

“We are always working to motivate and inspire our students. Empowering our students is key. We are impacting student leadership by increasing their voices, strengths and talents. We want to innovate and inspire our future leaders,” she added. 

Hile said she has faith that the students of Buckner will have continued success by maintaining open communication and collaboration between everyone involved, by continuing to bridge relations between educators, students’ families and the community. 

As for what’s next, in March of 2016, Hile and her fellow honorees will be recognized as the regional winners for New Exemplary Principal during the MAESP Spring Leadership conference at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Mo. During this conference, one principal will be chosen for state level recognition. 

About the Writer

Jessica Mauzey

Special to TBC

Other articles from this writer


  1. Sherry
    Jan 21, 2016

    I love this article on our new Chief Of Police!!!! Such hope is in the air!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!! Also, CONGRATS, Ms. Hile on a well deserved nomination!!!!! Buckner is Blossoming!!!!!!!!!!!!

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