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Prater eyes grandchildren, church work in retirement
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After more than 40 years as an educator, Hickory Creek Elementary principal Donald Prater has announced his retirement at the end of the school year.
“I’ll miss the joy of being around the kids and being around the teachers,” said Prater. “And I’ll miss putting time into a program and seeing it turn out to be a success like the work we did with our TCAP testing last year.”
Prater doesn’t plan to prop up his feet in retirement as he says he wants to do more farm work and church work. But enjoying his grandchildren and traveling are also included in his plans.
Prater got his start at Irving College School as an elementary school teacher. His first class was split between first- and third-graders.
“That turned out to be a pretty good class,” said Prater. “I used my third-graders to help out the first-graders.”
Prater served as an assistant principal at West Elementary and was a teaching principal at Morrison School. That meant he was in charge of teaching three to four classes while also handling the administrative duties.
“You couldn’t do that now,” said Prater of all the extra paperwork required of school principals today.
After 19 years at Morrison, Prater has spent the past 11 years at Hickory Creek Elementary, the third largest school in the system behind the high school and middle school.
As for principal positions in Warren County, three are currently available. James Bennett is retiring as WCHS executive principal. Doug Reed has announced he will retire as principal of Eastside School.
Prater’s job, which has been posted for more than one week, has received considerable interest, according to school system human resources director Roy Pierce.
“I’ve gotten nine applications so far and inquiries from two to three other people who say they are going to apply,” said Pierce. “There is always a lot more interest in elementary jobs when they become available than with secondary jobs.”
 Pierce said it’s likely many of the applicants for the Hickory Creek principal position will also be considered for Eastside principal.