Kelly Foster Mug

Kelly Foster

McLean County Middle School will be under the guidance of a new principal this year as Kelly Foster steps into the role.

Foster said she has worked in education for 22 years and officially started her tenure as principal of MCMS on July 1 this year. She formerly spent 18 as an elementary school teacher and the past four years in an administrative role as the dean of students for Livermore Elementary School.

Foster said she did not originally intend to pursue a position outside of teaching, but eventually realized she wanted to reach more students than just those she had in her classroom each year.

“I didn’t set out to be a principal at first,” she said “When I was a teacher, of course, you love building those close relationships with kids, being able to spend one-on-one time with them, but then after a while, I realized that I wanted to pursue something more and have a bigger impact in my students’ lives than just maybe the 20 kids that I had in the classroom.”

Being a graduate of McLean County High School and having lived in the county for around 30 years, Foster said she cannot imagine wanting to work or live anywhere else.

“I have a vested interest in the families and students of McLean County. These are my people,” she said. “It’s been a true honor and blessing to be given the opportunity to serve as principal because this is where I want to be. This is where I see myself and my career. I’ve had opportunities to go outside of the county, but I’ve chosen not to because this is my life.”

While Foster said she is eager and excited to delve into her first year as the new principal at MCMS, she cannot deny having some disappointment at not being able to greet her students on their first day back to school.

She said even though the year is going to look much different than normal, she still plans on having a great year, whether in-person or virtually. Foster said her teachers have worked non-stop to provide the best virtual experience possible for students.

“It’s going to take more effort on all of our parts … we have to make sure we’re making those connections with kids every day,” she said. “ I want to continue to strive to maintain a positive, fun learning environment because whether they’re in my building or outside of my building, we’re still going to be connecting with those students, trying to keep them motivated, trying to keep them engaged. Basically whatever we can do to make their experience valuable.”

Foster said she looks forward to continuing the tradition of success that has already been established at MCMS for many years. She said she plans to focus on building strong relationships with staff, students, parents and the community.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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