CPS Announces Battle Principal, Assistant Superintendent
COLUMBIA - Dr. Kim Presko has been selected to serve as the principal at Muriel Williams Battle High School.
Presko's selection comes more than a year before the opening of Battle High School in the fall of 2013.
"The school district considered several outstanding candidates as it went through the process of selecting the first principal for Battle High School," said Superintendent Chris Belcher. "We wanted someone who would provide strong leadership and aid in community development for the school as the culture, building environment and student population are being developed."
Presko is currently the principal at Oakland Junior High School. She was originally hired as a math
teacher at West Junior High School by Dr. Battle in 1990. Since 1994, she has filled a variety of roles at
Oakland Junior High School, including administrative assistant and assistant principal, before becoming
principal in 2000.
Presko holds a doctoral degree in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri. She
recently chaired the school district's Intermediate Steering Committee charged with determining
programming for the new intermediate school buildings set to launch in 2013.
"We are really pleased to have had strong finalists in this process and to select someone with this
combination of background and experience to fill this critical role," said Dana Clippard, assistant
superintendent for human resources. "It was important for the leadership role at Battle to be filled as
soon as possible in order to ensure a smooth opening of the school and a smooth transition for future
Battle students, faculty and staff."
Presko will officially begin her role in July 2012, however will begin participating in planning and
transition discussions for the opening of the new school immediately.
With the need to ensure a smooth opening of Battle High School in 2013, the district is also announcing
the selection of Dr. Jolene Yoakum as the assistant superintendent for secondary education beginning in July of 2012. Yoakum will replace Wanda Brown, who will retire from Columbia Public Schools after more than 30 years with the district at the end of this school year.
Yoakum is currently the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at Seguin Independent
School District in Seguin, Texas.
Prior to her role with Seguin ISD, she was the director and interim assistant superintendent of secondary curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Houston Independent School District. She has also served as a staff development coordinator, elementary literacy coach and is a nationally board certified teacher. Yoakum taught Family and Consumer Science at Excelsior Springs School District in Excelsior Springs, Missouri from 1981-2001.
Yoakum has been an educator since 1979 and holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from
Nova Southeastern University.
"Dr. Yoakum will be a wonderful addition to our district leadership team," said Belcher. "She brings a
wealth of experience in education from both in-state and out-state and from the perspective of what it takes to operate a large, diverse school district."