PAXTON — After sifting through 17 applications and conducting six interviews with high school principal candidates, Paxton-Buckley-Loda officials discovered the best person for the job was already on staff.

Hannah McDermaid, currently the assistant principal at Paxton's Clara Peterson Elementary, will be elevated to high school principal on July 1, 2023.

She'll replace Tom Shallenberger, who's filling the role on an interim basis this school year.

A Loda resident, McDermaid’s nine-year public education career has included teaching gigs in Denver, Chicago and the African nation of Morocco.

Prior to arriving in Paxton, she served as high school assistant principal and upper elementary principal in the Prairie Central district.

“In order to do great work, you have to love what you do," McDermaid said. "I have had the opportunity to work for a number of different districts in my career, all of which have shaped me into the educator and leader that I am today.”