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New principal hired at WCES

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By Geoff Hamill

DeVona Hickerson has been named the new principal at Washington County Elementary School.

The school’s site-based decision-making council announced the hiring Friday morning, and a special reception took place for Hickerson in the WCES library Friday afternoon.

A native of Stamping Ground in Scott County, Hickerson now resides in Spencer County. She has worked in the Spencer County school system for the past 12 years. In that time, she has served as a classroom teacher, as well as an extended school coordinator and director, and she recently was a Title I coordinator. This diversity is what made Washington County Superintendent Robin Cochran refer to Hickerson as an extremely good hire.

“I’m very excited that we have this opportunity to work with someone who has such a diverse background,” said Cochran. “Her knowledge of special education and her classroom-level experience and Title I bring a lot to the table that I think will be a benefit to this district.”

Hickerson said she looks forward to starting work at the school, and her first day was Tuesday.

“I’m excited. That’s my nature. I don’t like to wait for things, I like to jump in and get my feet wet and get to know people so I can be prepared to be the principal of this school when school starts,” Hickerson said.

Hickerson fills a vacancy left by Sue Osbourne, who left after eight years as principal at WCES to become elementary instructional coordinator for Mercer County schools, according to Cochran.

With the success of WCES in testing and other areas, Hickerson said she doesn’t find many challenges early on, she just wants to see the school continue on a positive path.

“This is a very successful school, and I think my goal as principal here is to help facilitate that and make sure we continue to make that kind of progress,” Hickerson said. “I think I can be an integral part by sharing the knowledge and gaining experience from them so we can make that keep happening here.”

Cochran said since the hire of Hickerson comes within 30 days of the start of the school year, she will be required to file a waiver to fill the certified position of principal, which she said she is already doing.

“To hire this quickly, we will have to file the waiver. I encouraged the council to keep that time frame in mind, however, I was fine with Gayla Jenkins, our interim principal, being in place at the start of school if we had not found the right person for the position,” Cochran said. “She’s very knowledgable and has been with us in some type of leadership capacity, and I felt very comfortable about that.”

Sandra Alcorn, chair of the WCES site-based decision-making council, said she is also pleased with the hiring of Hickerson.

“I would like to thank the SBDM council and committee members for their hard work and positive effort in the principal selection process,” Alcorn said. “We look forward to an exciting new school year with Mrs. Hickerson.”