Catherine McAuley High School in Portland names new head of school

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PORTLAND — Catherine McAuley High School has appointed a new head of school.

Following a year-long national search, Kathryn Woodson Barr will be the fourth head of school in McAuley’s 45-year history.

She replaces Deborah Kost, who had served as interim head of school for one year and is returning to Pennsylvania. Kost succeeded Margaret Downing, who resigned in June 2013 after three years on the job at the all-girl private school run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy.

Barr previously was head of school for the Highlands School in Birmingham, Alabama, and head of the lower school for the Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee.

She was a leadership development coach in Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education, and was named the Outstanding Administrator of 2012-2013 by the Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers.

Barr graduated from Rhodes College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and she received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Memphis.

In a press release, Barr said she is excited to join McAuley, and looks forward to continuing the work of those who preceded her.

“During the search process, everyone I met shared an enthusiastic commitment to the all-girl advantage that McAuley provides,” Barr said in the press release. “My goal is to build on the work of Sister Edward Mary Helleher, Mrs. Deborah Kost, and the strategic plan to continue the work of positioning McAuley as a premier academic institution for young women.

“In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to getting to know the McAuley community and forging our exciting future together.”

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

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Kathryn Woodson Bar is the new head of school at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.