Drennen takes reins at Oakdale Heights

DALLAS — The Dallas School Board has named Maria Drennen as Oakdale Heights Elementary School principal.

Now a counselor in the McMinnville School District, Drennen will replace Caleb Harris, who will take the principal post at Whitworth Elementary School starting next school year.

Drennen has 12 years of experience in education, three as a teacher and nine at a counselor.

She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in counseling and her administrative license.

Dallas Superintendent Michelle Johnstone said Drennen met all the requirements Oakdale’s staff was looking for in its next principal. She recommended the board select Drennen Monday during a special meeting, which it did in a unanimous vote.

“We are very excited to be offering her the position,” Johnstone said.

Drennen was among more than 35 candidates who applied for the post. She said the size of the school and community, as well as involvement of families in the school, made the job attractive.

Drennen will be a first-year principal, but has had her administrative license for three years. In that time, she’s served as a fill in for the principal or vice principal, though officially she is a counselor.

“I have lots and lots of experience in the role, but not an official title,” she said.

She said she will meet with Oakdale Heights staff this week and will visiting the school often in June to begin the transition.

“I’m all in,” Drennen said. “I’m ready to join the community. I will be out and about in the community and looking forward to meeting everyone.”

Current Whitworth Principal Darlene Geddes will be seeking opportunities in secondary education elsewhere, Johnstone said.

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