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HUDSON -- When students return to the halls of McDowell Elementary School in the fall they will notice a new face in the principal's office.
Natalie Wininger was named principal and supervisor of special services of McDowell June 28 by a unanimous nod from the School Board. Wininger replaces Mark Leventhal, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
Wininger had been a unit principal at Hudson High School since from August 2011, according to the district. Before that she was assistant principal at Streetsboro High School and director of pupil services for seventh- to 12th-grade Streetsboro students.
"I am very honored and excited to be part of the McDowell family," Wininger said. "I have enjoyed my time as a student teacher, and high school unit principal in the district and I am looking forward to the opportunity to share those experiences and continue to build relationships with the staff, students, and parents."
Wininger, a Hudson High School graduate, began her career in education as an intervention specialist for special education students in sixth- to 11th grades.
Superintendent Phil Herman called Wininger a "a very capable administrator and dedicated learner."
"She has excellent skills in the managing special education processes and a strong vision for how a school should serve all students and families," Herman said. "She is a caring, dedicated, and passionate educator who never stops learning and growing."
Herman added that Wininger has also demonstrated the knowledge and demeanor to handle the supervisor of student services responsibilities that come with the position.
"These responsibilities include conducting suspension/expulsion hearings, placement of student teachers, and handling district residency and enrollment issues," Herman added.
Wininger holds a bachelor's degree from Ashland University in Special Education, Developmenbtal Handicapped and Specific Learning Disability. She also has a master's degree from the University of Akron in secondary administrative and post graduate. She also has her secondary administrative license and post graduate degree and a superintendent's license from Ashland University.
According to the district, Wininger has earned the Distinguished Staff Award and a Shining Apple Award.
"I have had the honor of working with Natalie in my former role as supervisor of special services," Leventhal said. "In all my dealings with some of Hudson's troubled youth, Natalie has always put kids first. Her goal always was to put supports in place so her students could thrive."
Levnethal added his replacement is compassionate and caring.
"Natalie is a respected administrator and I am pleased she will be leading McDowell," Leventhal said.
Leventhal is retiring with 32 years service. He was McDowell principal and special services supervisor for 10 years. Levnthal was a teacher for 15 years and a middle school assistant principal for seven.
WIniger's salary will increase from $94,858 to $98,415.