Bertha Shields has been named the next principal of New Holland Knowledge Academy in Gainesville.
The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education approved the hire on Monday, April 15, and Shields will take the helm for the 2019-2020 school year beginning July 1.
Shields will succeed Pamela Wood, who is retiring in June.
According to a press release, New Holland’s school governance council was directly involved in the review of applicants and in the interview process.
“Gainesville City School System has been my home for years, and I have been afforded many opportunities throughout my career,” Shields said. “One of which was being privileged to be part of the start-up team at New Holland and being there when the doors opened on the very first day. Since that time, I have also had the opportunity to be a part of and learn from the staff and leadership teams at Gainesville Exploration Academy and Centennial Arts Academy. Those years have been invaluable in shaping me as a leader who is now excited and honored to lead a school that is so near and dear to my heart. I am thankful and look forward to coming home.”
With over 30 years in education, Shields has held several leadership positions within the school district, including as assistant principal of Centennial Arts Academy for three years.
She has also served as an assistant principal and gifted coordinator at Gainesville Exploration Academy and K-5 ESOL and talent development specialist at New Holland Knowledge.
Shields formerly taught kindergarten and first grade at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy, where she first began her teaching career as a paraprofessional.
“Mrs. Shields' dedication to our community and school system is the perfect fit for New Holland's new phase,” states Dr. Jeremy Williams, Gainesville City School System Superintendent. “Beginning as a paraprofessional for us years ago and now becoming a principal, Mrs. Shields is a true testament of being a servant leader. We wish Mrs. Wood the best in her retirement, and we look forward to continuing great instruction at New Holland. "