LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Academy @ Shawnee has a new principal. 

Kymberly Rice will begin leading the school on March 19, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio announced Friday.

"Kym is a tireless leader who is passionate about providing educational supports for students and ensuring that every child is engaged and feels a sense of belonging," Pollio said in a news release.

Rice will be leaving her current position as principal at Western Middle School for the Arts, a position she held for five years, according to JCPS. Before working at WMSFA, Rice worked for the Kentucky Department of Education as a turnaround expert.

"It was a difficult decision to leave WMSFA where we’ve had tremendous success, but those who know me best know that my work is a calling, and I feel led to impact the lives of even more students at Shawnee," Rice said in a statement. "I look forward to partnering with the Shawnee community to create a new map for improvement and growth at this historic institution."

Rice will be taking over for Venita Benboe, the former Shawnee principal who was hired in JCPS central office to help implement the district's Academies of Louisville program in October. Benboe had been Shawnee's principal since August 2015. 

Assistant Superintendent Michelle Dillard will work with retired administrator Betty Graham to oversee day-to-day operations at WMSFA until the end of the school year, according to the district. Graham and Dan Withers, also a retired principal, were hired to handle Shawnee operations when Benboe left the school last year.

JCPS officials say a new principal for WMSFA will be named this summer.

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