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Mardis appointed as Endeavor principal

Karen Mardis is Endeavor Elementary School's new principal. (CONTRIBUTED)
Karen Mardis is Endeavor Elementary School’s new principal. (CONTRIBUTED)

HARVEST – Karen Mardis has been appointed as principal at Endeavor Elementary School.

Mardis taught English, history and journalism at Pinson Valley High School in Jefferson County for 13 years. For eight years, she has served as assistant principal.

“Endeavor has a reputation for great parental involvement and is supported by a district with a reputation for excellence,” Mardis said. “I’m impressed by the school and the community it serves. I am so excited to become a part of this partnership.”

Mardis has observed the impact of experiences from elementary school on secondary students in high school and beyond. “I’m anxious to be a partner in building a strong foundation. I look forward to serving in the role of lead learner,” Mardis said about her first principalship.

In Jefferson County, Mardis received the Superintendent’s Award of Excellence three times, was “Teacher of the Year” nominee twice and was named “Staff Member of the Year” for all of Pinson’s feeder schools.

After attending Jefferson State Community College, she earned a bachelor’s degree at Birmingham-Southern College. At Samford University, she received a master’s degree and will complete education specialist requirements in December.

“I have three sons — Mike, 28, Bill, 26, and Kyle, 21. I’m also blessed to have Bill’s wife Nikki and two precious grandsons, Colby, 5, and Jayden, 9 months,” Mardis said.

Mardis always will remember her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Brezina, “for a unique punishment she gave me after a playground tussle. She made me stay inside and read ‘Little House on the Prairie’ books during recess.”

Reading about struggles between Laura Ingalls and Nellie Olsen, “I figured out a better way to deal with my playground issues. Laura Ingalls became my hero, and I wanted to become a teacher. Mrs. Brezina gave me a hero I could relate to in trying to solve problems. She changed my path in life,” Mardis said.

“I’ll never forget to look beyond circumstances to see the child trying to figure out how to deal with them,” Mardis said.

Mardis replaces Marilyn Hicks as Endeavor principal.

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