At its meeting Monday, Jan. 26, the Grand Island Central School District Board of Education unanimously appointed Danielle Wallenhorst Hawkins as the assistant principal for Veronica E. Connor Middle School.
"The Board of Education met with Mrs. Hawkins before unanimously appointing her as the assistant principal of VCMS. After meeting with Danielle, it was apparent that her enthusiasm will be an asset to our middle school community," said Lisa Pyc, president of the Board of Education.
Hawkins replaces Eleanor Payne, who was appointed principal at Silver Creek Middle School in Silver Creek. Her last day serving students was Thursday, Jan. 29.
"As Mrs. Payne assumes her new role, we all congratulate her on this appointment," wrote VCMS Principal John Fitzpatrick in an email to parents. "Having served our school community for over six years, we appreciate all that she has brought to our students and their families. We thank her for her commitment and dedication to Grand Island. We extend only our best regards to her as begins this new chapter in her career while remembering, 'Once a Viking, always a Viking.' "
Hawkins has been employed at the Charter School for Applied Technologies since 2008. She currently supports 36 new teachers as the coordinator of induction and retention and had previously served as a business teacher. In addition, she taught in the Buffalo Public Schools. Hawkins holds a master's degree in business and marketing education and also in educational leadership and policy from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
"Mrs. Hawkins comes to us with the instructional leadership experiences necessary for being an assistant principal. Her passion for teaching and understanding of the middle school philosophy were evident in her interviews. I have no doubt that Mrs. Hawkins and Mr. Fitzpatrick will make a great team," said Dr. Teresa Lawrence, superintendent of Grand Island Central School District.
Hawkins says, "I'm so thankful for this opportunity! I could not be more excited to be joining the Connor Middle School team. Everyone has been so welcoming and Grand Island already feels like home. I look forward to working with our staff, parents and community members to help each VCMS student reach their potential."
Hawkins will begin her service to the Grand Island Central School District Feb. 2.