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story.lead_photo.caption Paul Cloudwright is the new principal of the New Bloomfield High School and New Bloomfield Junior High. He was previously an assistant principal at Meramec Valley Middle School. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

NEW BLOOMFIELD — New principal Paul Cloudwright is looking forward to the start of the school year.

"I can't wait to get the kiddos back in the buildings," he said. "This job's all about people, but in the summer there's not a lot of people around."

Cloudwright was hired this year as the principal for New Bloomfield High School and New Bloomfield Junior High, replacing outgoing principal Jeremy Davidson.

Cloudwright earned his degree in education at Missouri State University before getting his first teaching job in the Macon County School District.

He spent almost a decade there and ascended the ranks to become an instructional coach and then an assistant principal.

"Then I met my wife, and she said, 'Let's move to St. Louis and be closer to family,'" he said.

Cloudwright was an assistant principal at Meramec Valley Middle School prior to his move to New Bloomfield. Once more, his wife prompted the move, he said. She's currently working her way through a Ph.D. program at University of Missouri.

Cloudwright said he's eager to experience the new challenges and responsibilities that come with being a principal. He's also excited about his colleagues.

"I'm surrounded by great people with high levels of competency," he said.

And his colleagues are excited about him.

"We are happy to have Mr. Cloudwright at New Bloomfield," Superintendent Sarah Wisdom said. "He brings experience with curriculum and instruction from his previous districts that we feel will be a great fit for the direction we are moving."

His mother inspired him to pursue a career in education, Cloudwright said.

"My mom was in education, and I saw all the good outcomes and fulfillment she had," he said. "It sounds pretty fluffy, but you go into it because you have someone or something in your youth who drives you to give back."

In their limited spare time, he, his wife and their son enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking