Three Pender County Schools have new principals for the 2023-24 school year.

Pender County Board of Education has approved several principal shifts for the 2023-24 school year.

Crystal Hall makes the move from assistant principal at Topsail High School to principal at Surf City Middle School.

Hall Pender County Schools

“I am so excited to join the Surf City Middle School team,” Hall says. “It is an excellent school with a terrific staff, and I feel privileged to serve as their new principal. I am excited to get back into middle school, where I spent my years teaching. I look forward to an amazing year with the staff, students and the community.”

Hall earned her B.S. in restaurant and food service management from Johnson & Wales University-Providence, her M. Ed. in elementary education from the University of Phoenix-Glendale, and M.Ed. in educational leadership from Arizona State University-Tempe.

After working in the business industry for several years, Hall went back to school to follow her dreams of becoming a teacher and working with children. She has worked in public education for the past 14 years in Arizona and North Carolina. She relocated to the Wilmington area in 2015 and now lives in Hampstead. She has three children ages 24, 20 and 18. On the weekends you will find her adventuring out on the water with her husband and fur babies.

Flynn Pender County Schools

Kelly Flynn is the new principal at Surf City Elementary School. She has worked in Pender County Schools for more than 20 years, beginning her career as a teacher at Rocky Point Elementary. She served six years as an assistant principal, the last five at South Topsail Elementary.

Flynn is an enthusiastic school leader and is committed to success for all students.

She has been dedicated to education since 1995, when she began her elementary education degree. Since then, she has earned three degrees from UNC-Wilmington including a BA in elementary education, a Masters in elementary education, and a Masters in school administration. She enjoys cooking, long walks and lots of time on the tennis court. She loves spending time with family, especially her daughter, Medaya, 27, who was only two months old when Flynn first stepped foot into her own classroom.

Nick Paquette has been approved by the Pender County Board of Education as principal at Pender High School. He most recently served as principal at E.E. Waddell High School in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Paquette Pender County Schools

“I am honored and excited to serve as principal of Pender High School,” he says. “I believe that each student deserves a quality education that prepares them for a positive impact on our local community and beyond. In my role as principal, I am committed to aligning resources and removing barriers such that a culture of excellence defines our school within the greater community.”

Over the past 15 years, Paquette has served in many different roles, spending six years as a high school science teacher, four years as an assistant principal and five years as principal across two North Carolina districts.

He was the 2023 recipient of the K-12 Innovation in Education Award presented by the International Council of Educational Professionals.

About the author

Topsail Magazine Contributor

Topsail Magazine Contributor