Leeann Bartee was ready for a change, even if it was going to be a geographic challenge.
Bartee began her tenure as Hillcrest High School’s principal yesterday. She’s a Fort Worth resident and previous principal at Richland Middle School in Birdville ISD.
“It’s a little bit of a drive, but it is absolutely worth it,” Bartee said. “Being able to be a part of Hillcrest with the legacy and strengths of the staff and talents of the students is more than I could have ever dreamed.”
Bartee has worked in education for more than 10 years as a teacher and administrator, but this will be her first year as a high school principal. Now that her son is old enough to spend Friday nights with friends, she said, she will be able to commit to weeknight events like football games.
“I used to be a freshman English teacher, and one of the things I really missed was seeing [students] emerge into citizens,” she said. “That kind of richness where we’re setting everybody on the path for the rest of their lives is something that’s different, and I look forward to that.”
A few Hillcrest parents have met Bartee after saying farewell to former principal Ronald Jones, who will begin a new job in Tyler this fall.
“While we are understandably sorry to lose a principal who has continued such a wonderful legacy at Hillcrest, we are excited about our new leadership and the promise she brings to the position,” parent Debbie Sherrington said.
Bartee also was attracted to Hillcrest because the school will apply to the International Baccalaureate program this year. Besides helping teachers and students adjust to the new program, she would like to serve as an advocate for the community and a resource for staff and students, she said.
“The idea that I have hundreds of families that trust me to take care of their kids is an honor, and I want to be worthy of that,” she said. “I feel more welcome after just a week of being here than I have anywhere in my life, so it feels like home already.”
This story appeared in the September issue of Preston Hollow People.