The 2019-20 school year is fast approaching, and Comanche Middle School will have a new principal at the helm.

According to Dodge City USD 443, Rachael Pitchford has been named the new CMS principal.

Previously the assistant principal at CMS, Pitchford started in Dodge City in 2011 as a special education teacher before advancing to instructional coach.

"Pitchford was a natural choice for Comanche," said USD 443 superintendent Fred Dierksen. "Her leadership experience, enthusiasm and dedication to our students are essential factors in student achievement."

Pitchford will work with USD 443 assistant superintendent Matt Turner to provide instructional leadership for the staff and 740 students.

Pitchford is a mother of three daughters currently attending Dodge City High School.

In addition to her family life, Pitchford is a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and enjoys bodybuilding and figure competitions ― recently winning three gold medals at a Wichita event.

"I am thrilled to have the honor of being named principal of Comanche Middle School," Pitchford said. "I am devoted to helping our students grow academically, socially and emotionally.

"My main goal this year is to assist students in becoming the best and most successful versions of themselves. My staff and I are committed to our students and families.

"I am very excited about the changes and growth that will happen at CMS this year."

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.