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Waubun principal, facing job loss over fed funding, takes job at Bagley High School

WAUBUN, Minn. - A Waubun principal who faced losing her job in a federally funded school overhaul will take over Bagley High School in northwestern Minnesota.

Helen Kennedy, the Waubun secondary principal of nine years, has accepted a job at the 970-student district fewer than 50 miles northeast of Waubun.

The Waubun School Board decided to advertise Kennedy's job this month. Earlier this spring, the high school, on the White Earth Reservation, landed on a state list of 34 schools whose students consistently score below state averages on standardized math and reading tests.

Minnesota will tap into a $34 million federal School Improvement Grant to make over these schools. The money comes with strict federal requirements for change, including replacing school principals.

The Waubun board will meet next week to kick off the overhaul process. It will likely start interviewing applicants for Kennedy's job, too.

Bagley School Board Chairwoman Paula Davis said the district selected Kennedy from among 30 candidates.

"She has an outstanding track record," Davis said. "She's made some real positive changes in Waubun."