RICE -- As the school year approaches, there is a new leader at Rice Elementary.

Sue Paasch is entering her first year as principal, after previously serving in the same role within the district at Mississippi Heights Elementary.

She says she is looking forward to the new and exciting challenges that await her this year.

"I rely on my teachers a lot to do their jobs, but I provide the support they need to do the jobs. It's nice to not have many staff members so I can be more hands on with staff and be an instructional leader here."

Paasch has been working in the Sauk Rapids-Rice school district for over 20 years. She says her goals for the year are to help improve test scores and become an International Baccalaureate School.

"One of the things Rice is doing is we are a candidate for a International Baccalaureate school, so I am looking forward to that challenge and moving the staff along so we can become an IB school."

Rice Elementary have seen a small increase in student enrollment for the upcoming school year, especially in their Kindergarten classes.

Paasch replaces Christina Bemboom who accepted a position in the Eden Prairie School District.

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