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Familiar Name at Old Kings Sent to Principal’s Office for 2024-25

Familiar Name at Old Kings Sent to Principal’s Office for 2024-25

A familiar face at a Florida School of Excellence in Flagler County has been sent to the Principal’s Office as the 2024-2025 school year approaches. Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore has selected former Old Kings Elementary School (OKES) administrator Jessica Fries to serve as the Top Owl at OKES. The Flagler Schools Board approved the selection at their monthly public meeting tonight in the Government Services Building in Bunnell.


Fries, who has spent the last two years as the Assistant Principal at Buddy Taylor Middle School in Flagler County, previously served as the Assistant Principal at OKES from 2019 to 2022. Fries is replacing Nicole Critcher who held the Principal’s position at OKES for the past three years. 


“Ms. Critcher set the tone for measurable success at Old Kings these past few years,” Superintendent Moore stated. “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.”


This past April, the Florida State Board of Education named Old Kings Elementary School as a Statewide School of Excellence. Old Kings is one of only 88 schools in the Sunshine State to be newly designated as a School of Excellence.


First serving three years as an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teacher in Volusia County, Fries has spent the past five years in leadership positions within Flagler Schools. Currently holding a bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) from Daytona State College, as well as a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Stetson University, Fries is a selection that checks all the boxes at the Owls Nest.


“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. “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.”


The first day of the 2024-2025 school year for OKES is August 12. Fries and her new faculty and staff will participate in professional learning sessions the week of August 5 in preparation for the more than a thousand students who count on OKES for their educational needs.




Another important move put into motion by the Flagler Schools Board tonight will impact Matanzas High School for the 2024-2025 school year. Replacing long-time MHS Assistant Principal Fred Terry will be Kara Minn. Serving most recently as the AICE Coordinator at MHS, Superintendent Moore selected Minn to serve under Principal Kristin Bozeman when students return to the Pirate Ship August 12.




Flagler Schools strives to be the nation's premier learning organization. Our mission is to ensure educational success through high expectations and innovative thinking in a safe learning environment to empower students to reach their full potential as responsible, ethical, and productive citizens in a diverse and changing world. We can be reached online at or and via telephone at 386-437-7526.