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Hernandez Appointed as Next Smoketown Elementary Principal

The Conestoga Valley School Board approved the hire of Kathleen Hernandez as the next principal of Smoketown Elementary at its March 21 board meeting. She officially joins the district on Aug. 1, 2022.

Hernandez comes to Conestoga Valley School District after a 16-year tenure with the School District of Lancaster. She most recently served as the principal of George Washington Elementary School for the previous six years.

“Ms. Hernandez brings a depth of experience to the role of Principal at Smoketown,” said Dr. Jill Koser, CV’s Assistant to the Superintendent for Elementary Education. Her student-centered approach and empowerment of teachers and staff to serve the learning community are foundational values that drive her leadership. The value Ms. Hernandez will add to the CV Family is substantial.”

As principal at George Washington, Hernandez supervised, coached, and developed a staff of approximately 40 teachers and a team of instructional support teachers. She implemented a new core reading program for grades K-5 and strengthened the school’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework through data analysis, stakeholder input, and district initiatives. Hernandez also created and developed community partnerships, including the implementation of the region’s initial First 10 Community School Hub, a program that aims to improve the quality and coordination of education and care for young children and their families.

Hernandez served as George Washington’s assistant principal from 2014-16 and was an elementary teacher in the School District of Lancaster, for eight years (2006-2014). Following her time as a classroom teacher, Hernandez served as the instructional coach and Dean of Students at the elementary level prior to being named assistant principal at George Washington.

Hernandez graduated from Millersville University with a degree in elementary education and earned her Master’s of Education in Language and Literacy from Millersville. She holds certifications as a Reading Specialist and English as a Second Language instructor. In addition, she also obtained her Principal Certification from Temple University.

CV’s new middle school is scheduled to open for the start of the 2022-23 school year and will now house students in grades 6-8, allowing for a new K-5 configuration in all elementary schools.