Hollie Smith smiling.

Hollie Smith has been a principal at one Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) middle school and is now preparing to take on leadership of a school with middle and high school students. Smith has been named the new principal at The Academy @ Shawnee.

“We are excited to formally announce Ms. Hollie Smith as the next great principal at Shawnee,” said Dr. Nathan Meyer, assistant superintendent of Accelerated Improvement Schools. “We could not have selected a principal more highly qualified to lead Shawnee into this next chapter. Ms. Smith has a track record of connecting with staff and students and organizing a school for continued improvement, and her experience in central office will only strengthen her ability to lead Shawnee.”

Smith was the principal of Western Middle School for the Arts (WMSA) for two years before becoming the executive administrator (EA) of Middle Schools last summer. She has 16 years of experience in education. Smith began her career teaching social studies at a pair of middle schools in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2015, Smith came to JCPS to work as a district Title 1 component specialist. She then transitioned into the associate principal position at George Unseld Early Childhood Center and assistant principal at WMSA before being promoted to principal of the school and EA of middle schools.

Now she’s ready to get back into leading a school.

“I am honored to be joining the Shawnee family as principal and am eager to contribute to the remarkable work of the team,” Smith said. “I am looking forward to fulfilling my purpose by engaging in collaborative efforts to support and serve our Shawnee students, stakeholders, and community.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville and has a master’s degree from Christian Brothers University. Her first official day at Shawnee is July 1 though she expects the transition to the school to begin immediately.

By Mark Hebert