HARRODSBURG — The Harlow Early Learning Center started its 2012-13 school year with a new principal who is a veteran Mercer County educator.
Esther Hayslett, 38, who has worked for the Mercer school system since 1999, was recently hired to lead Harlow. The learning village has about 340 preschool and kindergarten students as well as 35 teachers and instructional aides.
“I feel a real sense of responsibility to the people of this community to help our children be successful,” Hayslett said. “I want students to have a wonderful first formal learning experience that provides them with a solid foundation to build upon for years.”
Hayslett served as dean of students for King Middle School from 2007 to 2011. Before that, she spent nine years as an instructional assistant then teacher at Harlow.
She was educated in Mercer County schools and has lived in Harrodsburg her entire life with the exception of her undergraduate years at UK. Hayslett and her husband, Gil, have 9-year-old fraternal twins Lauren and John who attend Mercer County Elementary School. They are members of Harrodsburg Baptist Church. When Hayslett is not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and boating.
Superintendent Dennis Davis said Hayslett’s passion for the well-being of students is her biggest asset as an educator and school administrator.
“Esther is very much a servant leader and she has a great deal of passion for her students and teachers,” Davis said.
A big adjustment for Hayslett is no longer being a part of daily life at King Middle School. However, she said Harlow’s staff and parents have welcomed her and quickly made her feel at home.
“I think the thing I will miss most about the middle school is being able to see the huge changes that occurred from the time the students enter as 6th graders to the time they leave as 8th graders,” Hayslett said. “I will continue to be a huge KMS cheerleader.”