2022-23 Principal Appointments

Principal Announcements for the 2022-23 School Year
Posted on 05/24/2022
2022-23 Principal Appointments

Following a stakeholder engagement process, eight new principals have been appointed for the 2022-23 school year to serve in schools throughout MNPS based on their unique skills and qualification that match the needs and desires of the school community.

“School leadership is a key factor in the success of our students, teachers and support staff, and I’m grateful to these public servants who have stepped up to lead these school communities,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Schools. “Whether they are new to the district or veterans of Team MNPS, I’m impressed by the passion and commitment of these new principals to ensure that students, staff and families will have what they need to succeed.”

The following principals have been chosen to lead their schools in the 2022-23 school year:

  • Fall-Hamilton Elementary, Dr. Karen Bacigalupo
  • Head Magnet Middle School, Dr. Kenyae Reese
  • Napier Elementary, Whitney Russell
  • Nashville School of the Arts, Dr. Justin Thomas
  • Robert Churchwell Elementary, Kenneth Bonner, Jr.
  • Ruby Major Elementary, Dr. Jenna Hagen
  • Stratton Elementary, Dr. Joi Mitchell
  • Westmeade Elementary, Dr. Mattie Crumbo

The selection processes for additional schools with vacant principal positions are still underway for Cane Ridge Elementary, Paragon Mills Elementary, East Magnet High School, and Haynes Middle School.

About the Principals


Dr. Karen Bacigalupo 
Dr. Karen Bacigalupo, Fall-Hamilton Elementary

With MNPS since 2000, Dr. Karen Bacigalupo has cultivated student learning and teachers’ crafts in her roles as a teacher, mentor teacher, district EL coach, instructional coach, lead literacy coach, and dean of instruction. She has served for the past three years as the assistant principal of Fall-Hamilton Elementary and has been an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University since 2015. She earned a doctorate and a bachelor's degree from Lipscomb University and a master’s degree from Tennessee State University.

 Dr. Kenyae Reese
Dr. Kenyae Reese, Head Magnet Middle

Dr. Kenyae L. Reese has served for eight years as principal for the award-winning Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Hillsboro High School, where she has championed the idea that education can develop compassionate learners, foster interconnected communities, and develop individuals of exceptional character. Dr. Reese earned a Ph.D. from Clemson University and a master’s degree in School Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has also earned two graduate degrees from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in business from Hampton University.

Whitney Russell
Whitney Russell, Napier Elementary

Whitney Russell is well-known to Napier families, having served at Napier for the past eight years in various roles, including teacher, dean of students and assistant principal. Ms. Russell has worked for Metro Schools for 15 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in educational leadership.

Dr. Justin Thomas 
Dr. Justin Thomas, Nashville School of the Arts

Dr. Justin Thomas has proudly served for 7 years as the principal of Nannie Berry Elementary School in Sumner County, which has been recognized for 3 consecutive years as a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education. Dr. Thomas began his career as a high school/middle school band director. His passion for the Arts and his drive to pursue school wide excellence will be central to his leadership as he begins his role as Executive Principal at the Nashville School of the Arts.

Dr. Jenna Hagen 
Dr. Jenna Hagen, Ruby Major Elementary

Dr. Jenna Hagen is the new principal for Ruby Major Elementary. She most recently served as the assistant principal at Rose Park Magnet Middle School. Prior to being an assistant principal, she was a dean of instruction at Bellshire and Carter Lawrence Elementary Schools. She also taught with MNPS at Shwab, Thomas Edison and Tusculum. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and received a masters and doctoral degrees from Lipscomb University.

Kenneth Bonner Jr. 
Kenneth Bonner Jr., Robert Churchwell Elementary

Kenneth Bonner, Jr. brings more than 10 years of elementary education experience to his new role as executive principal of Robert Churchwell Elementary. He most recently served as principal of Lake Elementary School in San Pablo, California, where he was named Administrator of the Year in 2020 and 2021. His passion is developing positive relationships with everyone within the community: working with students as they grow, supporting teachers and staff so that they can reach their greatest potential, strengthening the connection between school and home, and fostering a positive school culture. He is a graduate of Watkins College of Art & Design and received a master’s degree in Urban Education from Touro College.

Dr. Joi Mitchell 
Dr. Joi Mitchell, Taylor Stratton Elementary

Metro Schools has appointed Dr. Joi A. Mitchell as the next principal at Stratton Elementary. She is a graduate of Metro Nashville Public Schools and comes to Stratton from Amqui Elementary, where she has served as assistant principal for the past five years. Dr. Mitchell has been an adjunct professor for Tennessee State University. She also worked 12 years at Buena Vista Elementary School serving as the assistant principal, multi-classroom leader and classroom teacher. She holds a doctorate and master’s degrees from Tennessee State University, an educational specialist degree from Tennessee Technological University, master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Dr. Mattie Crumbo 
Dr. Mattie Crumbo, Westmeade Elementary

Dr. Mattie Crumbo is the new executive principal of Westmeade Elementary, where she has served as the assistant principal for the last three years. Dr. Crumbo previously worked as a literacy coach and classroom teacher in MNPS. She holds her bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama, master's degree from the University of West Alabama, and doctorate degree from Lipscomb University.



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