South Bend Empowerment Zone welcomes Francesca Jimenez as new principal of Harrison Elementary School

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Empowerment Zone has announced Francesca Jimenez as new principal at Harrison Elementary School.

“Ms. Jimenez brings to Harrison a wealth of knowledge and experience as a classroom teacher, coach, and building and district administrator,” said Dr.Davion R. Lewis, Chief of the Empowerment Zone.

Lewis went on to say, “We look forward to her leadership of Harrison Elementary.”

Ms. Jimenez succeeds former principal, Mrs. Karla Lee, who is retiring from Harrison Elementary and the Empowerment Zone on June 5, 2023.

The Harrison community and Empowerment Zone are thankful to Mrs. Lee for her commitment and dedicated service to the Harrison students, families, and staff.

Mrs. Lee served as principal at Harrison Elementary from the Zone’s inception in August 2019 through December 2022.

Since then, Mrs. Lee has served as an advisor, supporting the leadership transition underway at Harrison Elementary.

She, along with several Harrison teachers, staff, parents, and students, participated in the process and provided valuable feedback that aided in the selection of Ms. Jimenez.

In addition to panel interviews, candidates also completed a student data analysis presentation, taught a standards-based lesson to 5th grade students, completed a teacher coaching session, and completed a lesson plan review.

 Candidates were assessed using three research-based tools:

● School Turnaround Principal Competencies by the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd and the University of Virginia Partnership for Leaders in Education

● Professional Standards for Education Leaders by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration

● The 4 Dimensions of School Leadership by the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington

Ms. Jimenez will begin her tenure as principal on April 10, 2023.

During her first seven weeks, her focus will be to become immersed in the Harrison community.

Ms. Jimenez will work closely with Mrs. Lee as she assumes full responsibility as principal at Harrison Elementary.

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