New principal hired at Simmons
Simmons Elementary School's site-based council voted unanimously last Friday morning, May 20, to hire Tiffany Cook as the new principal at Simmons. Cook has spent the last five years as administrative dean at Picadome Elementary School in Lexington. Prior to moving into school administration, she was a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Cassidy Elementary School. Both of those Fayette County schools were among the state's top-performing schools while Cook was there. "Wherever she's been there's been success," said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins. "And to me, the greatest predictor of future success is past success." In addition to Hawkins having high expectations, Cook's leadership approach resonated with him. "She really emphasized the importance of building relationships with staff, with students, with parents (and) with the community . (as) the foundation for everything," said Hawkins. The Simmons council interviewed seven of the 22 individuals who applied to become the school's next principal. "So (we were) very pleased with the number of candidates, but also the quality," said Hawkins. "It was an exceptional pool so I was extremely pleased with that." Cook officially begins her tenure as principal at Simmons Elementary on July 1. However, she will participate in a two-day workshop focused on a professional learning community initiative in June. "So that'll give her a chance to work with a group of the (Simmons) staff that she'll be working with next year," said Hawkins. Cook succeeds Larry Caudill, who is leaving Simmons Elementary after eight years. He was hired as principal at Lexington Traditional Magnet School in Fayette County.