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Shirley Hills Elementary starts off school year with new principal and newly renovated facilities

For the past four years, Kristen Brooks was the assistant principal for discipline within the Houston County School District. Now, she is a full-time principal.

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — It's Aug. 2 which means schools in Houston County are back in session! 

On Wednesday, Shirley Hills Elementary School in Warner Robins welcomed kids to their newly renovated school and welcomed Kristen Brooks as their new principal.

“I am so excited that the first day is finally here,” Brooks said. "All summer we've been anxiously waiting for the building to be done so that as soon as our students come in, they can walk in and say 'Oh my goodness look at all the changes they have made' and we saw just that this morning."

Brooks said that it was clear that the students liked what they saw. 

"The kids' eyes were so bright and shiny, just excited walking through the hallways because it looks completely like a new school," Brooks said.

For the past four years, Brooks was the assistant principal for discipline within the Houston County School District. Now, she is a full-time principal at Shirley Hills Elementary and, to her students, she goes by Principal Brooks.

“All of the kids here at Shirley Hills are my babies and I'm going to make sure they get everything that they need," Brook said. "I'm just thrilled to be here and I'm so excited that I'm able to care and be compassionate and celebrate every success that we have here in our building.”

Starting this school year, Brooks is ready to be a role model to her students at Shirley Hills Elementary. This year, she says there is a motto that she hopes will help guide the work that they do.

“Our theme this year for our district is ‘continuously growing,’" Brooks said. "So I’m looking to see where our students are continuously growing, I’m looking to build the capacity of my teachers and the capacity of my leadership team and [so] that we are all continuously growing.”

In addition to helping the students and faculty grow, there are a ton of different ways that the school itself is changing with the new renovations. For instance, the school will offer new audio and visual tools to help faculty better interact with students with hearing and visual limitations. 

“Teachers have the opportunity to use the new facilities so that any student, regardless of where they’re situated in the classroom, can hear what's being taught because the sound is now amplified throughout the new speakers that we have in the building,” Brooks said.

They also installed a light dimming feature and in case of emergency, a new safety feature that calls to the front desk or an officer on duty.

Looking forward to the new school year, Brooks is excited to provide opportunities to these students and help them grow to their best abilities. 

“I want to make sure that we’re building our kids up and this momentum that they have the opportunity to open any doorway that they see,"  Brooks said.

And to the Central Georgia community, Principal Brooks has a message for you.

“Thank you for your support," Brooks said, "and anytime you are welcome to come to Shirley Hills where learning is required!”

WATCH MORE: Turner Woods Elementary welcomes a new principal this school year

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