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Fayette County announces two new principals, district administrator for 2019-2020 school year

As the 2018-2019 school year comes to a close, Fayette County Public Schools is already looking ahead to next year with the selection of two new principals and the addition of an Associate Director of Minority Recruitment and Retention.

“Each new hire strengthens our team,” said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. “Our students and families are counting on us, and we need leaders who are committed to being difference makers.”

Announced are:

• Mike Hale, new principal of Winburn Middle School
• Jill Hill, new principal of Cassidy Elementary School
• Rose Santiago, Associate Director of Minority Recruitment and Retention

Mike Hale

Hale has 19 years of experience in the field of education, including 12 years of teaching and coaching at Carroll County, Garrard County and Bryan Station middle schools. After four years as assistant principal at Shelby County East Middle School, he became the administrative dean at Winburn Middle School in 2016. Since January of this year, Hale has been acting principal at Winburn, following the mid-year departure of Whitney Allison. Hale earned a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education and a master’s degree in school leadership from Eastern Kentucky University, and his rank I in special education from the University of the Cumberlands.

“Mike stepped in as the interim principal and showed great leadership. He led the school through some difficult times during the year,” said Chief of Middle Schools Tony Watts, who oversees Winburn Middle. “He will do an exceptional job as Winburn’s next principal.”

Jill Hill

Hill has 18 years of experience in the field of education, including six years of teaching at Deep Springs Elementary, eight years as a mathematics specialist and interventionist at Squires Elementary and one year as the academic dean at William Wells Brown Elementary. She has been the professional growth and effectiveness coach at Breckinridge Elementary since 2016. Hill holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Marshall University and master’s degrees in elementary education and educational leadership from the University of Kentucky.

“Jill has served successfully in leadership roles at three Fayette County Elementary Schools,” said Elementary School Chief Heather Bell, who oversees Cassidy Elementary. “Her experiences, advocacy for all students and collaborative leadership style will enhance the rich tradition of excellence at Cassidy.”

Rose Santiago

Santiago brings 24 years of experience to her new role. She started her career teaching English as a second language in Puerto Rico and spent a total of nine years at Olga Colon Elementary School. For two years Santiago was a bilingual case manager at the York Spanish American Center in Pennsylvania, and for five years worked as a bilingual reading teacher at Parkway Middle School and Gateway High School in Kissimmee, Florida. In 2011, she joined the Florida Department of Education as a school improvement specialist and in 2015 became the Director of Multilingual Education Student Services for the Orange County Public Schools. Since the fall of 2016, Santiago has worked for the Fayette County Public Schools as the district liaison for Family Community Engagement. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education English as a second language and a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Inter American University.

“Rose understands that victory is in the classroom and she is committed to attracting and recruiting talented employees to join our team,” Caulk said. “She is stepping into this role at just the right time, when changes in the state accountability system have given the district more options to expand our human capital strategy.”

Hale has been interim at Winburn since January, and Santiago stepped into her role when the hiring season began in April. Hill will officially assume her duties on July 1, 2019.

“Every school deserves a transformational leader who will keep students first in every decision,” Caulk said. “We are early in the hiring season, but we’re off to a great start.”

From Fayette County Public Schools

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