Forester worked as a county elementary school teacher the first two years of her career, before moving on to LFO where she spent the next 30 years, including the last four as principal, she said last week.
A desire to spend more time with her grandchildren and traveling with her husband was the basis for her decision to retire, she said.
“The students and faculty here have been like family to me,” she said. “Many days I spent more time with my staff than I did with my family. I will miss it and there will be an adjustment period, but I think it’s one I’m going to enjoy. As my grandfather used to say, ‘It’s going to be lonesome, but it will be a happy lonesome.’”
Forester’s husband, Jim, also worked with the Catoosa County school system for 30 years, she said. The couple has one daughter, Holly Trotter, who along with husband Jim have given the retiring principal one granddaughter, with a grandson on the way.
Forster said one of her proudest accomplishments at LFO is the fact that the school’s Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores improved every year of her four-year term as principal.
“She’s certainly left an imprint on LFO,” Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Beth Kellerhals said. “I know she loves her job and is retiring with mixed emotions. I also know how much she loves the school, but being a high school principal is pretty much a 24-7 job, and I certainly understand her desire to have a more relaxed lifestyle.”
Brand said Thursday she has already received two applications for the position, including one from Jerry Ransom, assistant principal at LFO, and an unnamed administrator with the Walker County school system.
“We will weed out all the candidates who do not meet the qualifications and all qualified candidates will undergo a rigorous interview procedure,” she said