Beth Mullins signed up for job alerts at Berea Community Schools after she met Superintendent Diane Hatchett a little more than a year ago at a conference.
"I knew Dr. Hatchett through the leadership challenge that we participated in last year," Mullins said.
The leadership challenge was presented by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.
"Dr. Hatchett really made an impression on me as an aspiring superintendent," she explained.
Mullins reached her goal of being hired at Berea Community Schools in the role of principal at Berea Elementary, effective July 1.
And Hatchett also is excited about Mullins being at Berea.
"Mrs. Mullins aspires to lead by example, to learn and grow alongside the community at Berea Community Elementary School," she said. "Throughout her career in education, Mrs. Mullins has strived to create positive school-home connections, to put the needs of children first, and to promote life-long learning."
Growing up in Stanton, Kentucky, her previous job was with Clark County Schools as a special education facilitator. Before that, Mullins worked at Clay City Elementary as an early childhood educator and guidance counselor for 10 years.
In addition to being attracted to Berea Community Schools because of Hatchett, Mullins said, she also found its grant initiatives appealing.
"I have heard many great things about Berea Community Schools, and just the intentional focus on allowing the grant initiative work they have within the schools promoting success … are very attractive for a community school," she explained.
And though her first year as principal will be tough as Berea Elementary is navigating re-opening procedures, Mullins said the students give her motivation.
"I know that I have to be very flexible this coming school year that keeping an open mind and thinking of innovative ways to really reach students and families is really going to have to be at the forefront of our work," she said.
Mullins added that safety and health is her first priority. If she can meet with students and families, even if she has to meet them virtually, she plans to do so.
"I can't wait to meet them and the families that will hopefully be filling our classrooms this coming school year," she said.
Other goals of hers includes creating a positive learning environment for students, facilitating an environment where safety and learning are a priority and working together with community stakeholders who promote success and competence for students and families as a unit.
Mullins explained her parents instilled a value of community in her, and she will bring that value to the school, as well, by supporting families, teachers and students.
"They taught me very early in life that the community is something you give back to," she said.
Outside of her school life, Mullins enjoys time with her husband, Brad, her 14-year-old daughter Allee and her 11-year-old son Abram.
"Some of our favorite hobbies include watching UK sports, cooking together and enjoying many weekends at baseball fields and volleyball courts," she said.
Hatchett added that Mullins believes "we should never stop learning because life doesn't stop teaching."
"We know that she will do an amazing job and are looking forward to great things ahead for BCES and the district at large," she said.
Reach Sara Kuhl at 624-6626; follow her on Twitter @saraekuhl.