Lafayette's new principal is a familiar face

The Williamsburg-James City County School Board approved the appointment of Kimberly Hollemon, the current interim principal, as principal of Lafayette High School Tuesday night.

Hollemon has served the school as its interim principal since August, after the former principal Anita Swinton, resigned last summer to take up her position in central office. Swinton is W-JCC’s coordinator for student services/hearing officer.

Under Hollemon’s leadership, the school enrolled its first cohort in the Early College Program at Thomas Nelson Community College. The Early College Program is a partnership with TNCC where eligible high school seniors begin college coursework during the fall semester and transition to the TNCC campus in the spring. Ultimately they earn college credits while still in high school.

“While serving as interim principal, Dr. Hollemon worked diligently to foster an atmosphere where students can excel academically, athletically and socially,” said Olwen Herron, W-JCC superintendent, in a prepared statement. “Now, as she takes the helm as principal of Lafayette High School, we have every confidence she will work collaboratively with staff, families and the community to ensure that students have even more opportunities designed to prepare them for college and work success.”

Betsy Overkamp-Smith, a former spokeswoman for W-JCC, said there were 23 completed applications for the Lafayette principal position, and the job closed April 8 to applicants.

Before serving as Lafayette’s interim principal, Hollemon spent six years as the coordinator for English/Reading Language Arts 9-12 and the summer school program coordinator for W-JCC. She began her career in public education in 1992 as an English teacher in Norfolk City Public Schools. Holland has also served as an assistant principal in Chesterfield County Public Schools and a principal in Cumberland County.

“Continuing to strengthen and expand our academic program by offering more students the opportunity to take advantage of rigorous and innovative courses will be a major goal in the coming year,” Hollemon said in a statement. “I am fortunate to be supported in this goal by an excellent staff. I also look forward to increasing partnerships with our business community in areas such as job shadowing and internships. We all want students to be even better positioned for academic success and workforce readiness.”

Hollemon earned three degrees from Virginia State University; a bachelor’s in English Education, a Masters of Education in Administration an Supervision, and a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision. She has also published a book on the challenges of teacher retention in rural districts, contributes articles on transformative instructional practices to professional publications and is a frequent presenter at professional and education conferences.

Amelia Heymann can be reached by email at, or on twitter @HeymannAmelia.

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