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Katie Coppenbarger

Principals selected for River Crest and Willow River

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten will recommend to the Board of Education on June 11 the appointment of Kathleen (Katie) Coppenbarger as the next Principal of River Crest Elementary and Kimberly (Kim) Osterhues as the next Principal of Willow River Elementary.

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Coppenbarger will bring six years of administrative experience and over 10 years of teaching experience to the Hudson School District. She is currently completing a Doctorate in Education in Educational Leadership at Bethel University.

Coppenbarger served as a Grantsburg School District Principal in both PreK-Kindergarten and grade 1-3 schools, K-12 curriculum director, and summer school director. Earlier in her career, she was a music teacher in multiple districts. In Grantsburg, Coppenbarger implemented similar learning strategies to those used in Hudson and led successful efforts to raise student achievement.

"I am honored and excited to be joining the Hudson School District as principal of River Crest Elementary School," Coppenbarger said. "HSD 2025 establishes a clear vision, and I am looking forward to working together with the exemplary educators and dedicated parents in Hudson to continue the work at River Crest in making this vision come to life through all aspects of learning."

Bowen-Eggebraaten describes Coppenbarger as, "A talented principal leader who will contribute to River Crest and the Hudson Schools' system for learning from the very start."

Osterhues is currently a Principal in the Shell Lake School District for grades PreK-6th. Additionally, she serves as Shell Lake's director of curriculum. Osterhues also taught at the elementary level for over 18 years. She has provided leadership and coordination of district and state assessments, provided professional development for teachers on best practices and represented Shell Lake School District at academic workshops and conferences.

"I am honored to be joining the Hudson School District as principal of Willow River Elementary," Osterhues said. "My family and I are anxious to become a part of the progressive Hudson community. I am looking forward to continuing the culture of excellence set forth in the Hudson School District by working closely with students, staff and families."

Bowen-Eggebraaten said, "Individual representatives involved in the selection process immediately identified Ms. Osterhues' strengths as an effective educational leader, communicator, and collaborator."

Both Coppenbarger and Osterhues were recommended as final interview candidates by interview teams made up of River Crest and Willow River teachers, support staff, parents, elementary principals and district administrators. With Board approval, both women will begin working for the Hudson School District in early July.

The pair replace Peg Shoemaker at Willow, who will be the new Hudson High School principal, and Travis Barringer at River Crest who accepted a position in Minnesota.

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