Jessica Fries Named New Principal of Old Kings Elementary School


Old Kings Elementary School has a new principal: at its Tuesday business meeting the Flagler School Board approved the hiring of Jessica Fries, moving her up from her existing role as assistant principal at Buddy Taylor Middle School.

Prior to being promoted to Principal of OKES, Fries has worked in Flagler Schools since 2019. Before that, she worked in the Volusia County School District in exceptional student education.

During her career with Flagler Schools, Fries served as OKES Assistant Principal from 2019 to 2022. She’ll take the place of former Principal Nicole Critcher, who’s moving out of state. “Ms. Critcher set the tone for measurable success at Old Kings these past few years,” said Superintendent LaShakia Moore in a statement. “After a thorough review of all the potential candidates for this important role, it was clear that Ms. Fries was the right candidate for the slot.”

Before starting in Volusia County, Fries earned her Bachelor of Arts in Exceptional Student Education from Daytona State College as Class of 2016 graduate. While working, she’d go to earn her Master’s of Education from Stetson University. That degree focused on educational leadership and administration, paving the way for the job she accepted Tuesday.

“Ms. Fries is a strong decision-maker, an active listener and a great assessor of any situation allowing her to create a course of action that benefits all parties involved,” said Buddy Taylor Middle School Principal Cara Cronk, who worked with Fries in the latter’s BTMS days. “Her ability to make every child, every parent and every employee feel heard and respected makes her a great selection. From her daily demeanor to her ability to build and help orchestrate educational plans, Jessica is a true leader.”

Also approved on Tuesday was the selection of Kara Minn to the assistant principal position at Matanzas High School. She’ll replace longtime Assistant Principal Fred Terry under Principal Kristin Bozeman.