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Buffy Mann new principal at SCMS

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Stevie Lowery Lebanon Enterprise Buffy Mann has been a teacher for 21 years at Lebanon Middle School, but this year she will be wearing a different hat and at a different school. Mann was recently hired to become the principal of St. Charles Middle School. John Brady, who has been the principal at SCMS since August of 2003, is retiring, effective Sept. 1. Mann has hit the ground running, already meeting with the school’s teachers individually and discussing goals for the upcoming year. “I like things done the right way,” she said, “and I do them the right way.” The Springfield native has taught language arts and science at Lebanon Middle School her entire career, and has also helped teach life skills, as well as reading. But, she’s always been interested in pursuing a leadership position. In the past, she’s served on school site base councils both as a parent and as a teacher. And she’s also served four years on the Washington County Board of Education. While she was not re-elected this past November, she said the experience she gained from her time on the board has been invaluable. “I gained a wealth of experience and knowledge from that, more than I could have ever imagined,” Mann said. “I’m really just now realizing what a wealth of knowledge I gained there.” Mann said she feels more prepared to deal with the many roles she’ll be playing at SCMS. “I don’t have an athletic director here or an assistant principal… I’m everything,” she said, “but I feel on top of things. I don’t feel like I’m coming into it blind.” On top of her experience as a school board member, Mann said she’s had effective leaders to learn from, including former superintendent Roger Marcum and LMS Principal Todd Farmer. Something both Marcum and Farmer have taught her is how important it is to enforce high expectations, she said. “It’s about expectations and enforcing those and holding everyone accountable,” Mann said. “I’m not saying that hasn’t been the case in the past, I just think I have a little bit more of an aggressive personality and I think that’s what it takes.”LMS Principal Todd Farmer agrees with Mann's self-assessment, and said she's been a great leader within LMS."What she says she'll do, she will carry through," he said. "She sees a job and she gets it done. She just has high standards." While Mann knows her schedule will be extremely busy, she said she hopes to have the time to get to know each student individually. “I know that’s important,” Mann said. And she wants parents to know that her expectations for students, while high, are realistic. “I wouldn’t expect anything from their students that I wouldn’t expect from my own children,” Mann said. Mann and her husband, Tom, have three children - Emilee 17, Everett who will be celebrating his 15th birthday this month, and Jerry, 10.