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Oak Mesa Principal Set to Close the Book on Storied Career by Riley Hennessy

April 28, 2011
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Karen Eberhart leads Patriot Day festivities at Oak Mesa.

Karen Eberhart leads Patriot Day festivities at Oak Mesa.

After a decade as Oak Mesa’s beloved principal, Karen Eberhart will retire in June, capping an illustrious career as an educator.

For 18 years, Eberhart was a middle school English teacher before serving four years as assistant vice principal. Then she was named principal of Oak Mesa in 2001.

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One yardstick to measure Eberhart’s impact on her young learners is to view Oak Mesa’s steadily rising API scores, which she raised from 800 upon her arrival on campus to a staggering 958 today.

“This means that we have Super Star Teachers whom I call “The Dream Team,” the self-effacing Eberhart said. “Their high expectations of the children they teach ensure that all of our students are proficient or advanced by the end of each year. Teachers hold grade-level meetings weekly and collaborate on strategies and standards to implement to ensure student success.”
 
Above all, Eberhart has imprinted the love of reading on the students of Oak Mesa. She shares stories with them and tells how they can live vicariously through the characters in their books to visit faraway places and times,  limited only by their imaginations.

Besides Eberhart’s drive and devotion toward her students, she also has helped transform and improve the physical campus.

As part of the Patriot's Day celebration, Oak Mesa students released doves from captivity to fly free.

As part of the Patriot's Day celebration, Oak Mesa students released doves from captivity to fly free.

“I think that one of the proudest achievements while being at Oak Mesa was helping establish a science laboratory on campus,” she said. “It is truly a state-of-the-art science lab at the elementary level and is now dubbed ‘The Discovery Center.’ We’ve had it now for four years, and it looks as new as it did when we first got it. Everyone takes such pride in it, and it is used every hour of every day.”
 
Eberhart’s success stems in part from treating all students as if they were part of her family, shepherding their growth and watching them excel from kindergarten through fifth grade graduation.

“I will miss the entire Oak Mesa Community – staff, students, and parents,” Eberhart said. “They have all touched my life in ways unimaginable, and I have learned so much from each and every one of them.”

Another time, Ms. Eberhart and her devoted staff treated to students to a day at the beach for their academic excellence.

Another time, Ms. Eberhart and her devoted staff treated to students to a day at the beach for their academic excellence.

 
From teacher to vice principal to principal, Karen Eberhart has made everyone she has met, guided, and mentored better for the experience.

She will be greatly missed, but knowing Ms. Eberhart she will no doubt be writing many new and fulfilling chapters in her much- deserved retirement.

One Response to “Oak Mesa Principal Set to Close the Book on Storied Career by Riley Hennessy”

  1. Karen Eberhart
    May 2nd, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Peter and Riley, Thank you so much for your kind words about my career. I’m just a tee-tiny cog in the wheel that contributes to student success. Truth be told, the community, staff, and children have given so much to enrich my life. Many thanks to both of you.
    Karen Eberhart

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