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Interim Chase Street Elementary School principal named

By Joe Johnson

Whitehead Road Elementary School’s assistant principal has been named interim principal of Chase Street Elementary School in the wake of this week’s abrupt resignation of that school's principal.

The Clarke County School District Thursday afternoon announced that Laura Kraus will be filling in for Nikki Hittle until Hittle’s replacement is hired.

Hittle, who was hired as Chase Street’s principal only six months ago, announced her resignation in a Monday afternoon email to the school district.

Unlike the resignation of Clarke Middle School's former band director Brian Parido, who also announced his Monday resignation in a letter last week to his student’s parents and guardians that aired a laundry list of grievances with the school district, Hittle did not give specific reasons for resigning, except to say, ”I am choosing .to explore other opportunities at this time.”

Kraus served as Whitehead Road Elementary’s assistant principal since 2016 and has 13 years of experience with the Clarke County School District. She began as a paraprofessional at Gaines Elementary School, where also taught kindergarten, third and fifth grade classes. Kraus also taught fourth grade and EIP classes at Chase Street Elementary before her promotion to Assistant Principal at Whitehead Road Elementary.

“As a strong instructional leader who understands the importance of building a collaborative culture, Mrs. Kraus enjoys and values making connections with students and families,” said Dr. Xernona Thomas, the school district’s interim superintendent.

“I am confident in her ability to lead the Chase Street Elementary community until a permanent replacement is selected,” Thomas said.

Kraus will begin at Chase Street Elementary on Monday, and a community meeting will be scheduled in March to introduce her to the Chase Street family.

Kraus holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia, is a Tier 2 Leadership Certification Specialist in Education, and is working on her Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership from Kennesaw State University.

The school District expects to select Chase Street’s new principal by early May.

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