Ascension Public Schools announced new leadership hires for Head Start and St. Amant High School.

Martha Mendoza Babin will become the new Director of Head Start in Donaldsonville, the district's federal program for pre-kindergarten students. She will replace Pat Sanchez, who is retiring.

A native of Santa Anna, Calif., Babin has worked for Ascension Public Schools since 2004. She began as a first grade teacher at G.W. Carver Primary before serving as a teacher coach and mentor teacher at Donaldsonville Primary. In 2009, she became assistant principal of Donaldsonville Primary. She has been the assistant principal of G.W. Carver Primary since 2011.

"I would like to thank Superintendent Graves, her leadership team and the Board for this vote of confidence," Babin said. "I vow to do everything in my power to remove the barriers and ensure that all of our children are successful."

Babin earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in educational leadership from Louisiana State University. She is working on a doctorate in educational leadership at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Kellie Gonzales will become an assistant principal at St. Amant High School. This is a new position created in response to STA's freshman academy opening this fall that will take associate principal Beth Templet's duties away from the main campus.

Born and raised in St. Amant, Gonzales started working at St. Amant High School in 2001 as a social studies teacher before moving to Donaldsonville High as a mentor teacher and then Gonzales Middle as a master teacher.

A National Board Certified teacher, she earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Louisiana State University and a master's degree in educational leadership from Southern University.

"Thank your for this opportunity. My time in the TAP Zone at Donaldsonville High and Gonzales Middle has been so meaningful for me," Gonzales said. "I am looking forward to coming back home to St. Amant High School, being in the community where I was raised, and growing some more in the STA way."