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Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Katie Bonnema accepts position at BVW

Bonnema will have the same position title at BVW that she currently holds at BVNW, but said the job will offer new challenges and allow her to improve as an administrator.

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Justin Lehtinen

Justin Lehtinen

Justin Lehtinen

Lauren Fischer, Features Editor

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After working at BVNW for six years, Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Katie Bonnema announced Tuesday she has accepted a new position at Blue Valley West. Bonnema said this is the same position she holds at BVNW, but it will offer her a new challenge of working with a different school community.

“It will be an opportunity to learn from a different principal [and] a different style of leadership,” Bonnema said. “Anytime you work with new people there’s new challenges and new things to learn from those that are around you.”

Bonnema said she accepted the position Monday evening after hearing about the opening at the end of last week.

“I think at this point in my career, [I’m] looking for an opportunity to grow, to make sure that I’m continuing to become better at what I do…so that I can benefit the school that I’m in and the students that I work with,” Bonnema said.

When Bonnema arrived at BVNW as an administrative intern in 2011, Principal Amy Murphy said she instantly formed a friendship with her.

“Over the past five years in that position she’s just grown,” Murphy said. “She’s been able to implement so many things that just make benefits for kids and for teachers. The way she looks at data, the way she builds the master schedule, the way she works on interventions, all of that has benefited our building, and just the relationships she builds with people are very positive.”

This will be Bonnema’s second time working at BVW. Bonnema said she taught special education for five years before coming to BVNW, making her position at BVW her first teaching job.

“I’ll be able to go back [to BVW] and there will be a lot of familiar faces,” Bonnema said. “I know that the teachers at West are really wonderful, I’ve had several of them reach out to welcome me back, so it’s comforting knowing there’s a big change coming [and] that there’s some familiarity there.”

Not only will knowing some of the teachers at BVW help Bonnema transition to her new position, she also said her experiences at BVNW has prepared her well for this new job.

“I have had the opportunity at BVNW to learn with and from some of the very best professionals in this district [and] had the opportunity to be involved in a lot of things,” Bonnema said. “Dr. Murphy does a great job of allowing us as assistant principals to really experience a lot, to take ownership of the things we are in charge of, and to guide us and not over manage us.”

Murphy said working under a different principal will benefit Bonnema, and Bonnema, in turn, will be able to benefit BVW.

“I think just being able to come in and look at things through a different lens will be very beneficial to BVW, anytime you get a new member who has not been in the building and can come in and ask ‘Why do we do it this way,’ and if our only answer is ‘We’ve always done it this way,’ then maybe we need to step back and look at that,” Murphy said. “I think she will bring some ideas of some things that she’s either read about or we’ve implemented here that can help [BVW] as well.”

Current Assistant Principal Tyler Alexander will be stepping into Bonnema’s position. Alexander said this will be a step up from his current position.

“[Bonnema] is really loved by our staff, and I hope to continue those relationships,” Alexander said. “[The new position] will allow me to work closer with Dr. Murphy, focus more on curriculum and teaching strategy and working closely with teachers.”

Bonnema said she will miss the students, staff and parents of the BVNW community the most as she leaves behind her position at BVNW.

“I think Northwest is a really unique community. I think the phrase ‘family’ gets thrown around often, and I do think there is a part to that that’s really true about Northwest,” Bonnema said. “The parent community and students here at Northwest are really great about embracing the teachers and staff and administrators, so just being a part of the overall community is pretty wonderful.”

 

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Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Katie Bonnema accepts position at BVW