McNeill Elementary Principal announces plans to retire

Kelli Brooks began her career as a student teacher at the school in 1996 and eventually was the fifth principal at the school.
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 8:17 AM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - W. R. McNeill Elementary School Principal Kelli Brooks has announced plans to retire at the end of the school year.

The announcement was made at a school faculty meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Brooks began her career at McNeill Elementary as a student-teacher in 1996, she returned to teach full-time in 1997.

“Throughout my career, I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else,” she said.

In 2006, after eight years of teaching, Brooks was named Kentucky’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, an award then-principal Deborah Ecton said recognized the experiences Brooks provided for students in her first grade classroom.

A few years later, Brooks set a goal to become a principal, and in 2013, she was hired as the fifth principal of McNeill Elementary, which opened in 1963.

“This has been a difficult decision to make. I struggle to find words that adequately describe how much my time at McNeill has meant to me,” Brooks said. “I still sincerely love the students, staff and families of McNeill Elementary, but feel that it is time for me to slow down and spend more time with my family.”

The school is currently the largest elementary school in the Bowling Green Independent School District with approximately 450 students enrolled in grades K-5.

BGISD Superintendent Gary Fields says he will soon meet with members of the McNeill Site-Based Decision Making Council to develop more detailed plans for hiring the next principal.

He hopes to have a new leader for the school selected by May 1.