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SJS announces new principal, assistant principal

Saint James Catholic School (SJS) in Elizabethtown has announced new administration personnel, including a new principal and new assistant principal. 


Sister Mary Grace Watson has been assigned by her religious community to serve as principal of the school, while Shellee Ayn Godfrey will take on the role of assistant principal. Sister Mary Grace is replacing Sister Marie Hannah, who has served as principal for SJS since 2016. Sister Hannah will continue on to her next assignment as a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. 


Sister Mary Grace has over two decades of experience as both a teacher and administrator. Her résumé includes teaching positions at elementary and secondary schools in Tennessee, Maryland, Georgia and Virginia. She served for three years as an assistant principal at St. John Paul the Great High School in Virginia and served for six years as principal at St. Patrick School in McEwen, Tennessee. For the past two years, she has led the School of Education as Dean at Aquinas College in Nashville. She holds a M.Ed in elementary education from Xavier University, an M.A in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and holds a license in Educational Administration. 


“I am looking forward to serving students and families at Saint James,” Sister Mary Grace said. “My top priority is to leverage my experience as an educator and administrator to faithfully deliver compassionate leadership for the teachers and staff members of the school so that they can provide the best faith-based educational experience for students.” 


Godfrey has over 17 years of educational experience in both private and public settings, 11 of which have been spent in educational leadership. She has served as a special education instructor, classroom teacher, postsecondary early childhood education instructor, assistant principal, gifted and talented instructor, professional development facilitator/consulting teacher, and district assessment coordinator, and has undergraduate and graduate degree work from the University of Kentucky, John Carroll University, and Western Kentucky University in the areas of Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education, and Administration. 


She is married to Dr. Chris Godfrey and has two daughters, both of whom are graduates of SJS. 


“My focus is on academic achievement and building school culture through positive relationships and social-emotional well-being, and I am dedicated to serving the students and families of Saint James while supporting teachers and staff so they can reach their greatest potential,” Godfrey said.