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Welcome to Hickory Flat Elementary School, home of the Thunderbirds!

three teachers


photo of Principal, Kerry Estep
Kerry Estep, Principal


Who has the best job in the world?  Mrs. Estep – She is honored and blessed to serve as the Principal of Hickory Flat for Year #4. She previously served as the Assistant Principal of Hickory Flat for four years so being named Principal was a dream come true.  Prior to leading at HFES, Mrs. Estep taught at Boston Elementary for 11 years in 3rd grade and Special Education. After leaving Boston, she was a Special Education Facilitator for 3 years in CCSD before coming to HFES. The 23-24 SY will be the start of her 22nd year with Cherokee County.

Mrs. Estep lives in Cherokee County with her husband and two daughters.  Her oldest daughter will be a junior at Creekview High School and her youngest daughter will be in 8th grade at Creekland Middle School.  When she is not at school, she enjoys camping, playing tennis, and cheering on the Crimson Tide.

Mrs. Estep is excited to #TakeFlight in the 2023-2024 School Year with the Thunderbirds.  

Email for Mrs. Estep:



Photo of AP Ms. Vance
Denna Vance, Assistant Principal


Mrs. Vance prides herself on building relationships, having a positive outlook and chanting with our students, ♪"It's going to be a GOOD DAY!"♪. 

This will be Mrs. Vance's fourth year soaring as a proud Thunderbird. Prior to joining HFES she served as Assistant Principal of R.M. Moore STEM Academy, played an active role in Clark Creek STEM Academy’s acquisition of State STEM Certification and taught in the Science Magnet and private sector. Through her career she has had the unique joy of teaching all grade levels, kindergarten through fifth grade. 

Mrs. Vance received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education with a masters and specialist degree in educational leadership from Kennesaw State University. She also holds a Reading, Gifted and Coaching Endorsement.

Mrs. Vance treasures family time and making memories with her two young boys and wonderful husband. They are a baseball family that enjoys competing in board games, reading books, and cruising/traveling together.

Email for Mrs. Vance:



photo of AP Mr. Zomer
Nick Zomer, Assistant Principal


Mr. Zomer is beyond excited to be a part of the Thunderbird Family! Previous to Hickory Flat, Mr.  Zomer served as an Assistant Principal at Creekland Middle School, and before that was a  science teacher at Mill Creek Middle School, Dean Rusk Middle School, and at Liberty Middle School in Forsyth County. He has 3 children in Cherokee County schools. When he is not working to support students and teachers, he spends time with his family, loves to cook, and is a dedicated University of Michigan fan.

Email for Mr. Zomer: