Although Gloucester County Public Schools recruits its educators and administrators from far and wide, the division did not have to look beyond its own ranks to find a new principal for Achilles Elementary School.
Gloucester native Katina Smith Keener, veteran teacher whose entire career has been with GCPS, took the post in November.
Keener grew up on her family’s working farm, where she still resides with her husband and two school-aged sons. Growing up with animals, she initially wanted to be a veterinarian, but her career plans changed and she decided to pursue teaching, much like her mother, Ruth Smith, who was also a teacher for GCPS.
“I wanted to be sure I could live and work in Gloucester,” Keener said of one of her reasons for shifting her goals to the classroom. “I think it was just wanting to be a part of teaching kids in our community. I wanted to help our children be well-rounded citizens who could contribute to our community and beyond.&r...