New principals named for Sunflower, Woodlawn elementary schools

photo by: Mackenzie Clark

Jayci Hamm, left, and Melissa Blevins introduce themselves to the Lawrence school board at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Hamm has been selected as the next principal of Woodlawn Elementary School; Blevins will become principal of Sunflower Elementary School.

A current Topeka principal and a Lawrence school district administrator will soon become principals at Sunflower and Woodlawn elementary schools, respectively.

Melissa Blevins has been principal at Ross Elementary in Topeka for two years, according to a news release from the district. She will succeed Howard Diacon, who is retiring from Sunflower in June after leading the school for seven years.

Prior to her current position, Blevins served in administrative and student support positions at a charter school in Kansas City, Mo., and taught at the elementary level in Leawood for 11 years, according to the release.

Jayci Hamm, who has served as the district’s assistant director of virtual education since July, will assume the role of principal at Woodlawn Elementary, according to the release. She replaces Jeanne Fridell, who is retiring after 13 years at the school.

photo by: Mackenzie Clark

Jayci Hamm, right, shakes hands with Lawrence school district Superintendent Anthony Lewis at the school board meeting on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Hamm will become principal at Woodlawn Elementary School effective July 1, 2019.

Hamm served as an assistant principal and fourth-grade teacher in Fort Riley for nine years, taught second grade in Junction City for two years and served as a health care specialist in the Army for two years, according to the release.

Blevins said in the release that she was excited to come to Lawrence when she heard about the district’s work around equity and achievement.

Hamm said in the release that her time serving families, students and staff at Lawrence Virtual School has been wonderful, and she’s excited to “join the Riverhawk family and continue the excellent traditions of the school community.”

The school board met and approved both new principals at its Monday meeting. Both positions will take effect July 1.

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