Shady Grove Elementary School Principal Abby O'Hair. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Shady Grove Elementary School Principal Abby O’Hair. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

When Abby O’Hair graduated from college, all she wanted to do was teach. It took over a decade before O’Hair, who is now principal at Shady Grove Elementary School in Burnet, realized she’d like to step outside of the classroom and into campus administration.
“Being an administrator was not something I always had my eyes on,” she said. “It was something that evolved.”
O’Hair was influenced by key administrators who came before her.
“Through the years, I worked under several different principals and assistant principals, and I learned something from each of them,” she said. “With time, the position as a campus administrator appealed to me because it would provide more opportunities to share my excitement for teaching, my appreciation for teachers, and my interest in making learning fun for our students.”
For O'Hair's commitment to promoting fun in education, The Picayune Magazine readers and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners voted her a 2023 Locals Love Us Favorite School Administrator.
“I am truly humbled,” she said. “I have to say that any success I achieve comes from working with Shady Grove Elementary students, families, faculty, and staff. Any accomplishments are a result of a team effort.”
As the top dog on campus, O’Hair is tasked with ensuring a safe environment, fostering a positive school culture, promoting the educational growth of each and every pupil, and articulating the district’s mission of continuous improvement.
“Students gain their first impressions of school life, learning, and of themselves as learners on my campus,” O’Hair said. “My greatest pride comes from saying that I am part of a team of teachers and staff who work tirelessly to help all students grow, feel successful, and enjoy learning.
A Burnet native, O’Hair graduated from Burnet High School in 2001.“I grew up in Burnet,” she said. “I like the small community and relationships it allows.”
Entering her 16th year in the district, O’Hair has served in various roles, including teaching first-, second-, fourth-, and fifth-graders. She was an assistant principal at Kline Whitis Elementary in Lampasas for two years before being picked for the Shady Grove job.
O’Hair plans to continue promoting the district’s mission of "Spirit, Pride, and Honor" each and every day. 
“I appreciate the vote of confidence from the community, and I’ll keep working to make Shady Grove a good place to be for everyone.”
Flip through the digital 2023 Locals Love Us magazine for a full list of winners.