Nicole Perez named new principal of H.D. Karns Innovations Academy

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — Nicole Perez, who is joining Geary County Schools USD 475 as the new principal of the H.D. Karns Innovations Academy, is excited to start her new position.

“This is going to be an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to it,” Perez said. “I’m ready to hit the ground running. I can’t wait to work with the staff and make a difference for our students.”

She is coming from Arkansas City, where she served as assistant principal of the high school for three years, primarily dealing with ninth and 10th-grade discipline issues.

Perez received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from Fort Hays State University. She is current in Southwestern College’s doctoral program and plans to finish that degree this summer.

Perez comes from a family of educators. Her mother, father, sister, and brother all work in education.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to be in a leadership position in education,” Perez said. “Junction City is a great opportunity for me to be able to do that.”

Perez was an instructional specialist with the migrant education with the education service center, Greenbush, for three years, working out of the Wichita office. She was also the Kansas Regional Director for the Kansas Reading Initiative, taught middle school for seven years and elementary school for four years.

She is originally from Garden City.

Perez said her goals for the H.D. Karns Innovations Academy are to grow the 7th and 8th Grade Magnet Program and work towards getting high school students to graduate.

“I want those seventh and eighth graders to have an amazing experience through the magnet program,” Perez said.

Perez said she has a few things she wants students and parents to know.

“I want them to know I’m here for them,” Perez said. “I want them to feel comfortable coming to me for anything. I want them to know it takes a team, it takes the students, the parents, and school staff, to be successful.”

Perez has three children. Her oldest son is a business owner in Wichita. She also has a 12-year-old daughter, Annie, and a son, Kapaun, who will be six in June.