Board Appoints Hansford to Lead Callaghan Elementary

Board Appoints Hansford to Lead Callaghan Elementary
Posted on 12/07/2022

LOW MOOR — Lisa M. Hansford has been appointed principal at Callaghan Elementary School, effective July 1, 2023.

She will succeed Josh Craft, who will become principal of Jackson River Technical Center on July 1. Craft has served as the principal at Callaghan since July 2018. 

Hansford’s appointment was approved by the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Board during a called meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.

The timing of her appointment follows a strategic timeline that was adopted by the school board in October. The timeline is part of a planned transition toward the 2023-2024 school year. Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center consolidated on July 1, 2022, to create Alleghany Highlands Public Schools. 

Students in Alleghany County and Covington will be merged into a single student body at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. Callaghan, Jeter-Watson, Mountain View and Sharon elementary schools will remain open, but the consolidated school division will have a single high school (housed at the current Alleghany High School building), and a single middle school (housed at the current Covington High School building). The middle school will be called Covington Middle School and it will serve students in grades 6-8.

After it was announced in October that Craft would be moving to JRTC in the next school year, the school board initiated a search for his replacement at Callaghan with the goal of providing for an orderly transition. Hansford was selected from a pool of highly-qualified applicants.

“We are excited about Mrs. Hansford’s plans to give her students the tools to not only prosper while they are at Callaghan, but to also lay the groundwork for excellence as they move on to Covington Middle School and Alleghany High School,” said AHPS School Board Chair Jacob Wright. 

Hansford is currently an assistant principal at Alleghany High School. She has been at the high school since July 2021. She was initially hired as a teacher with Alleghany County Public Schools in 2014. Prior to that, she taught in Bath County Public Schools for six years.

Hansford holds an associate degree in business administration from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (now Mountain Gateway Community College). She graduated from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton in 2008 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in history and a minor in education. In 2019, she received a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Virginia.  

Hansford taught language arts and history in Bath County Public Schools. After joining Alleghany County Public Schools, she taught language arts and history at Clifton Middle School. In 2019, she became the testing technology resource teacher at CMS, while also serving as an administrative intern and assistant athletic director. Hansford was named CMS Educator of the Year in 2018.

She resides in Falling Spring with her husband, Andrew, and youngest daughter, Addison. She has two older daughters who reside in Covington, Kaleigh Smith and Haley Young. 

“It is a true honor to be named principal of Callaghan Elementary School which has always been known for its welcoming learning environment. I look forward to fostering positive relationships with staff, students, and the Callaghan community. I believe in the power of teamwork, and I am excited to start this next part of my educational career,” Hansford said. 

Kim Halterman and Melinda Snead-Johnson, who serve as leaders of AHPS, said Hanford’s appointment is a key part of a planned approach to provide the consolidated school division with solid leadership moving forward.  AHPS will continue making appropriate administrative appointments as 23-24 approaches. Other key planning for 23-24 in AHPS includes a student redistricting study that does not involve the closure of any elementary school. Additional information is available on the AHPS website,, in the Fact Sheets section.

“We know that Mrs. Hansford will build on the solid foundation that Mr. Craft has continued at Callaghan Our school board and administrators are committed to serving the Callaghan community, and we are very excited about the school’s future,” Halterman and Snead-Johnson said.   

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