LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A longtime educator has been named the new principal at Waggener High School.

Sarah Hitchings has been an assistant principal at Waggener for the past three years. She started her new role Wednesday.

"I am extremely honored and humbled to have been selected as the new principal at Waggener," Hitchings said. "We have an amazing staff and outstanding students and I'm excited to build off our previous momentum and lead the school in continued growth."

Hitchings has been with Jefferson County Public Schools for 13 years. She began her career as an English teacher at Valley High School and then became an assistant principal there. She transferred to Waggener in 2013.

She replaces Katy Zeitz, who was recently named an assistant superintendent and will oversee the district's Success Pathways schools.

Over the past six years, 21 schools in Jefferson County have been identified as priority schools for having chronically low test scores and during that time, the district has received more than $35 million in federal grant money to help turn them around.

Last year, Waggener High and Fern Creek High were the only two JCPS schools able to exit priority status.

Two years ago, Waggener expanded to include seventh and eighth grades from Myers Middle School, which was closed at the end of 2013-14 year. All of those students will be freshman this fall.

The school has approximately 900 students.

Hitchings earned her national board certification in 2006 and was named the 2012 JCPS Outstanding Assistant Principal of the year.

She earned her doctorate from the University of Louisville in 2015.

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Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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