Principal Appointment for Hickory Creek Elementary School

Bethany Groves, assistant principal at R.J. Murray Middle School (MMS), has been selected by Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner to be the principal of Hickory Creek Elementary School (HCES). Her nomination will be presented to the St. Johns County School Board during its July 8 meeting.

She will replace Dr. Paul Goricki who was recently named as principal of John A. Crookshank Elementary (CES).

Groves began her career in 1994 as an elementary teacher in Kentucky. She continued her love of teaching for eight years at Southwest Elementary in Indiana. In 2006, Groves moved to St. Johns County where she taught fifth grade at Julington Creek Elementary School (JCES). She then became an administrator serving as an assistant principal for the past seven years at CES, HCES and MMS, respectively.

As a teacher, Groves earned the Golden Apple Achievement Award for the Southern United States for excellence in teaching, and her academic team in Kentucky earned the state championship title in 1998. While at Southwest Elementary, Groves was a lead mathematics teacher for the state of Indiana presenting best practices to teachers, serving as a speaker at academic conferences and as a member of the curriculum design team. In addition, while teaching at JCES, her math team placed third in Florida and sixth in their division in the U.S.

Groves has high expectations for her students and faculty and is committed to rigorous standards for all students within an atmosphere in which students are valued, supported and engaged. “Bethany Groves is an outstanding choice to replace Dr. Goricki at Hickory Creek,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “She is a skilled instructional leader who has experience in the community. I have a great deal of confidence in Bethany Groves and I know she will continue the excellence that has been established at Hickory Creek.”

Groves holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, a master’s degree from Northern Kentucky University and Educational Leadership Certification from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“I could not be more thrilled to have this opportunity to return home to Hickory Creek,” said Groves. “Dr. Goricki has laid an amazing foundation of excellence. To work with the staff, parents and community there to build on this foundation is a great honor for which I am humbled, incredibly grateful and very excited.”