Final days

Principal Karen Kubara during her final days at the helm of Jacksonville High school.

As  the school year comes to an end, so does Karen Kubara’s time as the head principal of Jacksonville High School.

She has worked at JHS for a long time and is excited to do other things during retirement.  

“I’ve been in education for 32 years; I could’ve retired a couple of years ago, but I’ve stuck with it,” Kubara said. “But it’s time now. My husband is already retired and so he and I just want to spend more time with our family and traveling.” 

Kubara has filled many positions here throughout the years and worked her way up to being a principal. She has plenty of experience in teaching at the school. 

“I was a math teacher for 23 years and then an instructional strategist for one year at Jacksonville High School,” Kubara said. “Then I was an assistant principal for three years here as well as a CTE director for one year, and I've been the principal for five years.” 

As much as she works, family has always been important to Kubara, and retiring gives her a chance to spend time with her family and travel with them to many places.  

“Well we have our house here in Texas, but we also have a house in New Hampshire,” Kubara said. “So, we’ll spend quite a bit of time there when it’s hot here. It’s going to be cooler there. Our daughter and her kids and husband live in California, so we’ll travel to the West Coast also.” 

She hopes for the school to improve even though she is leaving. She hopes to have helped the school the best she could during her time here. 

“I hope the new principal will take what we have here, I think we have a good momentum going, and just make it even better,” Kubara said. “I want to continue to see success in academics. So, I hope that continues to grow and I think we've built a lot of successful programs here and I just want to keep that going.” 

Kubara has done a lot for the school and has made a major impact academically for the students here.  

“From what I hear from the students, they love Pow Wow. I'm not sure if it was the biggest impact but they do love it and I think some students really use it to their advantage.” 

Although she is leaving soon, Kubara isn't done working yet. She plans to end the school year at Jacksonville High School with  major work done so the students and teachers are taken care of. 

“My last day for the school district is September 13, but my last day at the high school will probably be sometime in June,” Kubara said. “We are working to make sure the master schedule is done for next year so that takes a lot of time making sure that all students get the classes they want and making sure the teachers get the classes they want to teach, as well. So, I want to have that finalized before I leave, if  possible.” 

Breaking the news to her employees might not have been the easiest thing to do.

She will definitely miss working at their side and said they were surprised by her retirement because they didn’t think she was going to retire that soon. 

“Of course, I will miss the people the most: The faculty staff, students and everyone,” Kubara said.

“I think they were surprised and so some were sad that I’m leaving. But really, I think the biggest thing is that they were just surprised.” 

The many memories she has created at the school will always stick with her.

She loved working here and hopes for the best for the school and believes that the school can be extremely successful. 

“There’s been a lot of memories and I don’t know if I can pick a favorite,” Kubara said. “I loved seeing graduation every year and seeing the students walk across the stage. I loved my time at Jacksonville, it’s really an amazing school district and everybody should be very proud of it.”

Priscilla Gallegos is a member of the Jacksonville High School Drumbeat staff.

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