Arlington Elementary School will have a new but very familiar face as principal when students return for classes next semester on Jan. 4.

Former AES teacher Tonya Hawkins is stepping into the elementary school’s leadership role after working at the district’s main office for the past five years.

“The school has always been my love. I had always imagined that I would be back in the school in some form or fashion. This opportunity came about, and I couldn’t pass it up,” Hawkins said. “It really is like going back home to family, so I’m really excited about it.”

“Ms. Hawkins is innovative and enthusiastic while always keeping student success at the center,” said Arlington Community Schools Superintendent Jeff Mayo in a statement released earlier this month. “One of the things I admire the most about Ms. Hawkins is that she is a relationship-builder. She has the know-how of analyzing student data, helping grow student achievement and all of the things a principal must possess, but it’s her commitment to creating a welcoming and positive culture that will inspire the staff and students at Arlington Elementary to be their best.”

In 2015, she moved from the classroom to the ACS district office, serving as academic and development support specialist until 2019, and as accountability supervisor since last year. Her responsibilities over the past five years have included serving as district testing coordinator and helping teachers with professional development and data analysis.

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