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Meet the Principal

Dear Hawthorn School for Young Learners Families,

Welcome to kindergarten! It is with great excitement that I write this letter of introduction as the principal of the Hawthorn School for Young Learners. It is my honor to be the principal of HSYL and consider my most important job to be that of a child advocate partnering as you begin your journey in a district that is known for its dedication to excellence, and most importantly, to children.  

I have been devoted to the field of education for 32 years. I have worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. I will spend a lot of time with your children, getting to know their personalities, learning styles and interests. I will celebrate their successes, small and large. I will encourage them every day, and let them know they are valued and have a special place in our school community.  

My goal is to ensure that all children are healthy, happy and safe so they learn as much as they can! This has been my philosophy since I began my teaching career. My vast experience has shaped me as a leader, including winning a 2019 National Blue Ribbon Award at Hawthorn Elementary South School. On a personal note,  I am married to my high school sweetheart, Shawn, who is a teacher and a photographer. We have two children, Josh (23, Software Engineer) and Stephanie (21, Occupational Therapy major). People often say I treat all children in my school as if they were my own. Please know I will work tirelessly to ensure all your children have the best possible kindergarten experience.

Not only am I excited to begin working with your child, but I am also looking forward to the work we will do together. “It takes a village to raise a child,” and the HSYL staff and I will be here to work with you every step of the way.  I hope you will join our PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) and get involved with your new Hawthorn family.  You are the “P” in the PTO.

Once again, I am privileged to have the opportunity to bring all that I have experienced and learned to the Hawthorn School for Young Learners. I look forward to getting to know you and your children. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments and/or concerns. I am easily reached at

Warm regards,

Jill Martin
Principal, Hawthorn School for Young Learners

Jill Martin