Harness named principal at Ann Smith Elementary

Karen Harness will serve as the next principal of Ann Smith Elementary School. Harness is a veteran educator, bringing 26 years of experience in education to the position, including 17 years with Madison County Schools.

“Karen is a leader, creative thinker, and problem solver. She is an excellent communicator and will continue to be a great asset to our leadership team in her new role as principal,” said Madison County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ronnie McGehee.

Harness is a familiar face within the Titan Zone of Madison County Schools, having served most recently as assistant principal at Ridgeland High School. “One thing I have learned at the high school level is the importance of a strong foundation,” says Harness, “Students who start here at Ann Smith Elementary thrive and do well as they progress through school. My focus will be to continue to build a strong foundation so that our students can be successful and become lifelong learners. I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve as the new principal at Ann Smith Elementary School.”

Harness is a graduate of Jackson State University and holds a master’s in educational leadership from Arkansas State University. She has served as a teacher and literacy specialist, as well as assistant principal specializing in curriculum and instruction. She began her teaching career in Jackson Public Schools as a third-grade teacher before joining Madison County Schools as a fifth-grade teacher at Madison Station Elementary. As a literacy specialist, Harness served at Germantown High School and Velma Jackson High School.

Harness officially assumes her new role on July 1.