A Topeka elementary school principal who lives in Lawrence has been named the new principal at Langston Hughes Elementary School.
Jackie Mickel, who has been principal of McCarter Elementary School in Topeka for the past six years, will replace Lisa Williams-Thompson, who announced her resignation in April.
“Jackie is a strong instructional leader with a proven ability to engage parents in the educational process,” Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll said in a release. “We’re excited to have her join our leadership team.”
Mickel earned her bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from Kansas University. She also has served as the district curriculum coordinator for Auburn Washburn Schools in Topeka and before that taught fourth and fifth grade in the Basehor-Linwood district.
She has lived in Lawrence for more than 20 years and said she’s always been interested in the public schools here.
“This is a great college community, very forward-thinking, and a town where people value education,” Mickel said. “Langston Hughes is already a successful school with many interesting programs and lots of enrichment opportunities for kids. I will do my best to help them further their journey and be the district’s shining star.”
A committee of teachers, staff and parents helped in the selection process. Langston Hughes first-grade teacher Kathy Rathbun, who served on the committee, said Mickel was the perfect fit.
“We’re all excited about the opportunity to work with Jackie,” Rathbun said. “We’re looking forward to seeing what ideas she will have to make our school even better.”
Mickel and her husband, Brad, have two children.
Williams-Thompson, who had served as the principal of Langston Hughes since 2003, resigned to pursue other professional opportunities.