Kara Onken New

Kara Onken with her family at last week’s Royse City ISD Board of Trustees meeting. Onken will start her role as the new principal of Ruth Cherry Intermediate School in the 2019-20 school year.

The Royse City Independent School District has named Kara Onken as its new principal for Ruth Cherry Intermediate School.

Onken joins the Royse City ISD team from Garland ISD, where she served as a campus principal. Before taking on a campus administrator role, Onken was a kindergarten and 4th grade teacher.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University.

In a district press release published last week, Superintendent Kevin Worthy welcomed Onken to the team and celebrated her hiring.

“She rose to the top of our candidate list quickly with her academic and relationship focused vision for Ruth Cherry Intermediate School,” Worthy said. “She will no doubt continue to grow upon the amazing things put into place at this very special campus.”

Onken’s tenure as the campus principal of Ruth Cherry Intermediate School will begin next school year.

She will be replacing Richard Pense, who in April  was named to lead the new Bobby Summers Middle School in Fate.

Pense has been an employee of the district for more than 20 years.

At the time of the announcement of his new role as the principal of the second-ever middle school in the district, Pense said he would like to honor the namesake of the school, RCISD Trustee Bobby Summers.

“ It is my mission that the school reflects the many attributes of its namesake and follows the innovative tradition already established in RCISD.” Pense said in an April press release. “We will advocate for every kid and compete at every level for success.”

The new Bobby Summers Middle School, which made up for the lionshare of the $60 million bond package that was approved by Royse City ISD voters in May 2018, is currently being constructed in Fate on C.D. Boren Parkway, across the street from Fate City Hall.

Projected to open in August 2020, the new middle school will also mark a grade configuration change for the district,

Under the new grade configuration, elementary schools in the district will serve pre-k through 5th grade, while the middle school will serve 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

The district’s intermediate schools, Ruth Cherry and Harry H. Herndon, will be repurposed into elementary school campuses.