KEARNEY, NE — Kearney Public Schools is staying in the region for its pick for its new Director of PK-5 Education.

The district announced Tuesday that Sara Paider will replace Chelsea Feusner, who is leaving to become a UNK professor. Paider has worked as the principal at St. Paul Elementary School in St. Paul since 2013.

“Sara brings outstanding experience and knowledge to the position, and she is a respected leader in the PK-5 arena throughout the state,” said Jason Mundorf, KPS Associate Superintendent who was recently named Superintendent beginning in July. "Sara is a skilled and proven leader who understands the complexity of teaching and learning in elementary and preschool classrooms, and we look forward to utilizing her expertise to continue to enhance our programming in these areas.”

In addition to working as principal, Paider has served as Director of After School Programs and Summer School and co-leads the Crisis Response and Threat Assessment Teams for St. Paul. Previously, she taught and coached volleyball at Loup City and Gibbon. 

“KPS and the community of Kearney take great pride in their school system and work collaboratively to provide their students with a well-rounded education," Paider said in a news release. "I look forward to working with KPS staff to ensure all students are provided a top-notch educational experience.  I am very grateful for this opportunity and am eager to continue to make a positive impact in education at Kearney Public Schools!”

Paider holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Peru State College and another master’s degree from Doane University. She was named the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals “Nebraska’s Outstanding New Principal’ in 2015-16 and the “Boss of the Year” by the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce in 2015.

Paider will bring her husband, Derek, and their three children; Leyton (Current 8th grader), Avery (Current 6th grader), and Briggs (Current kindergartener).