Melissa Schools has selected Michele Austin as the principal at Melissa Ridge Intermediate, beginning with the 2017-18 school year. Austin served as the assistant principal at Harry McKillop Elementary for the 2016-17 school year, and she has served as an educator for over 20 years.
Walter Perez, principal at Harry McKillop Elementary, commented Thursday on Austin’s new role at Melissa Schools.
“Michele Austin has been an instrumental leader at Harry McKillop Elementary,” said Perez. “She brought a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion for education, which enhanced the quest for excellence at McKillop. Her new role at Melissa Ridge Intermediate is a great addition for Team Melissa.”
Austin added, “It is a tremendous blessing to be joining the team at Melissa Ridge Intermediate next year. I am eager to meet the students, staff, and community members that represent this facet of Melissa Schools. Working together, we will build bridges to a successful future for all of our students. I am honored to continue serving in the Cardinal community and look forward to moving north and calling Melissa ‘home’ this summer. My husband, Jeff, and I come to Melissa with our two children, Abby, a senior this fall, and Aidan, a soon-to-be 6th grade student at Melissa Middle School.”
Austin replaces Tami Hayes, who served as the principal at Melissa Ridge Intermediate from 2014 through 2017.
Reflecting on Hayes’ leadership over the last three years, Superintendent Keith Murphy said, “Tami Hayes served the campus well and established a positive culture. She had a genuine passion for the success of our students and staff.”
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Robert Rich led the hiring process for the intermediate school’s new principal.
“Michele Austin was a highly sought-after candidate by area school districts,” said Dr. Rich. “Mrs. Austin was unanimously recommended for consideration by a selection committee that consisted of teachers for Kindergarten through 5th grade, in addition to parents, staff, and administrators.”
Tamara Brand, who has served Melissa Ridge Intermediate as the school counselor since 2011, added, “I am very excited for Melissa Ridge Intermediate’s future as we welcome Michele Austin as principal. You can feel her passion for education and Melissa students. She will be a great addition to our MRI family.”
Media Contact: Maddie Coe, Community Relations