The Shenandoah County School Board approved the hiring of Benjamin Bailey as the new principal at Ashby Lee Elementary School at Thursday's School Board meeting.

Bailey, who has been a health/physical education teacher, a driver education instructor and an athletic director during his career in education, begins his new job on Wednesday.

He has served at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels. Bailey received a bachelor's degree from Olivet Nazarene University in health and physical education and a master's degree in educational leadership from Eastern Illinois University. Bailey comes to Ashby Lee from Luray Middle School, where he served as the principal for the last two years.

"I am very excited to collaborate with (Assistant Principal Monica) Hinegardner, the faculty and staff at ALES and am eager to meet with the students and their families," Bailey states in a news release. "The 2020-21 school year may hold new challenges, but I am confident that we can continue providing a valuable and engaging education for our students."

Shenandoah County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Johnston said he is pleased to have Bailey as the new principal at Ashby Lee.

"When we conduct a search for vacancies such as principal, we conduct a survey of parents and staff to determine what they are looking for in a leader," Johnston states in the press release. "From the survey results and through the interviews, we knew we had the best candidate in Benjamin Bailey. He represents the best of those prepared to serve our students, staff and parents in the ever-expanding role of the school principal."

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