Hollen named FES principal | Is ‘honored and excited’ to step into new role

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2012

During the upcoming school year, Franklinton Elementary will have a new principal at the helm: Janene Hollen, whose appointment to the post by Superintendent Darrell Fairburn was effective Monday.

A good team is assembled at the school, Hollen said.

“FES has a wonderful staff of highly dedicated educators and staff members,” she said. “Everyone there is so dedicated to making the educational experience for the children that go there is such an enjoyable one, and I am just totally honored and excited. I’m looking forward to it.”

Hollen, who has been an educator for 20 years, taught in fourth, fifth and sixth grade classrooms at Enon Elementary School for about 16 years before moving over to FES as a fifth grade teacher in 2009. She then stepped into the position of faculty coordinator at FES, which she held for two years before being named assistant principal last month.

Additionally, Hollen has worked with fourth and eighth grade students during the school system’s summer remediation program. She earned her masters +30 at Southeastern, where she completed all of her college studies.

Getting to interact with the students is Hollen’s favorite part of working in education and the reason she went into that field, she said.

“I really enjoy working with the kids,” she said.

Fairburn said he thinks Hollen’s experience has prepared her to serve as principal.

“She’s really grown,” he said. “She was a coordinator, and she was assistant principal for a very short period of time. But she’s had a lot of good training (and) worked with a lot of good administrators, so she’s had some good mentors.”

Demonstrating her dedication, Hollen worked throughout the summers when she was a coordinator at FES, even though she was in a nine-month position, Fairburn said.

“I think she’s ready for it, and I’m excited for her,” he added.

Hollen had praise for her predecessor, Polly Thigpen, who has been appointed assistant principal of instruction at Varnado High School by Fairburn, effective Monday.

“Polly Thigpen did an outstanding job as principal,” Hollen said, adding that the school performance scores at FES have risen the past four years “under her leadership” as principal.

The goal for this year, Hollen said, is to ensure “that students remain our top priority and FES continues to grow.” The staff at FES, she said, is the best “in the state.” As principal, she said she wants “to continue that and to have our performance scores show that.”

Joining the FES staff as assistant principal will be Denise Gilmore, and Hollen said she is “just overjoyed about that.”

A school-wide theme of “Rock and Roll” will be in place to motivate the students and staff during the the upcoming school year, which will be seeing numerous changes statewide, including new curriculum and educator assessments, Hollen said.

“The staff’s going to rock and roll through the changes, and the kids are going to rock and roll with academic success and good behavior,” she said. “We’re looking for a fun year. I’m really excited.”