Author and researcher Brené Brown, PhD., a professor of social work at the University of Houston, described a true leader as someone who holds himself or herself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.
If that be the case, Erin Hames. the new headmaster at Heritage Preparatory School, fits that description well.
Heritage is a pre-K through eighth-grade school which plans to incorporate a high school component in 2021. Hames takes over for Beth McCauley, who left the school to return to North Carolina to be near her grandchild and will also work as an education consultant there.
“I have always felt that educators must build into children the love of learning from an early age and help develop them so they have the tools they need to learn in all the areas of their lives,” Hames said. “I feel if children develop a love of learning, when they go into the workplace, their teachers and administrators have provided them with the tools to learn and thrive.”
She and her husband, Ben, natives of Clarksville, live in Atlanta with their children, Isaac, 7, and Rachel, 3. According to her biography provided by the school, Hames has a great deal of education-related experience at numerous levels.
She served as president of ReformEd, a law and consulting firm focused on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for children and students.
Prior to starting ReformEd, Erin served as Gov. Nathan Deal’s deputy chief of staff for policy and, prior to that, as Gov. Sonny Perdue’s policy director and chief of staff at the Georgia Department of Education.
Erin started her career as a public school classroom teacher where she was named as her school’s First Year Teacher of the Year. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Georgia, a law degree from Georgia State University and an advance certificate in women’s studies from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Hames is a member of the University System of Georgia’s board of regents, the State Bar of Georgia, the Drew Charter School board, the GeorgiaCAN advisory board, the Atlanta Speech School advisory board, the American Enterprise Institute’s Enterprise Club and the State Charter Schools Commission Foundation board.
She received the 2016 Professional Achievement Award from the University of Georgia’s College of Education, was a member of the 2013 40 Under 40 Class by the University of Georgia’s Alumni Association and was selected as a 2010 Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments.
Hames said she “started out” at Heritage as the mother of a student when she enrolled her son there.
“Heritage Prep proved to be the right school for us for several reasons. It is a Christ-centered school in a wonderful community, a community which supports us and others in the community as we raise our children together,” she said. “When I was approached about being the head master, it was such a great fit for me as this school encompasses the things I am most passionate about.”