For many in Somerset Independent Schools, Hubert Schroer is a familiar face, but he is about to become more familiar to students and parents alike as he steps into the role of principal at Hopkins Elementary.
"I can't wait," Schroer said. "I really feel blessed, and I'm so happy that people in the schools, the SBDM (Site-Based Decision Making) committee and Mr. Lively have faith in me to do a good job."
Schroer, who has served as a Spanish teacher at the elementary and Meece Middle and who has served as the interim assistant principal at Hopkins since February, will take over the position of principal on July 1.
He is replacing the current interim principal, Tim Ham.
Ham will be stepping up to the Central Office, becoming the transportation director, with other duties.
Ham showed confidence in Schroer, calling him "Very student friendly. He's good with people. Honest. And he's helped make this a wonderful year at Hopkins. He is very deserving of the job."
Schroer, in turn, showed appreciation to Ham.
"I'm extraordinarily humbled and honored to take over from Mr. Ham. He's a great guy, and he's taught me a lot."
Like Ham, Superintendent Kyle Lively spoke highly of Schroer. "We look forward to many years of success at Hopkins Elementary under Mr. Schroer's leadership. We are very excited to have him in that role," said Lively.
Schroer has been with the school system for two years. Before that, he was a Spanish teacher at the Garrard County High School, meaning that Schroer is familiar with students of all age groups.
However, "I'm really fond of the elementary students. They're my favorite group," he said.
Schroer described himself as an "Army brat," having been born in North Carolina and spending years growing up moving around. He spent time in Panama, Honduras and Costa Rica, as well as California and Arizona.
He earned a degree in business from the University of Arizona, then took a job in Memphis, Tenn., with ServiceMaster, an umbrella company for businesses like Terminix and Merry Maids.
He went through the company's Leadership Development program, where he met his future wife, known then as Elizabeth Coldiron.
When the two decided to start a family, Schroer said they had to chose between going back to Arizona, or coming to Somerset, Elizabeth's hometown.
She is a sixth generation Briar Jumper, he said. They plan for their son, Truett, who will turn one-year-old in June, to be a seventh generation Briar Jumper.
Schroer said starting his family in Somerset has been special for him, because he himself didn't have a "home" per se while growing up.
He plans on spending many years as Hopkins' principal, and those plans will start quickly.
"I"m really ambitious, I guess. I've already got things in motion," he said.
He added that he wanted the parents of Hopkins' students to know that he will be there to help them, and in turn, he will be looking for their support.
"Because it's not just the school. It's everybody. It takes a village," he said.