Allatoona High School
What are your main job responsibilities?
My job is to ensure all aspects of the high school run efficiently, which includes class instruction, athletics, hiring all staff and maintenance of the facility and grounds.
What is your background?
I grew up in Cobb and graduated from North Cobb High in the late ’80s. I earned my undergraduate and master’s degree from Kennesaw State University and my specialist from Berry College. I began my teaching career as a middle school English and social studies teacher in 1992 and taught for 13 years. Most of my career has been in west Cobb, where I taught at Lost Mountain and Durham middle schools. I spent a few years as an academic coach at all three levels, then I was hired to open Allatoona High School as an administrator in 2008. I worked four years as an assistant principal at Allatoona. Then I was hired as the principal at Lost Mountain, where I served for six amazing years. In the spring of 2018, I was hired as the principal of Allatoona, where I have had four exciting years.
What has surprised you most about your job?
Since this is my 30th year in education, I was pretty familiar with all aspects of running a school, but COVID-19 was the biggest surprise over the last few years.
What is the most unusual thing you’ve encountered?
One of the most unique elements of the role of high school principal is the responsibility to keep our campus facilities updated. I didn’t anticipate taking on large projects like building a roadside marquee or fundraising for a future build of a Jumbotron.
What do you like most about your job?
The absolute best part of my job is interacting with my students. Each day as a classroom teacher, you build relationships with students. I really do miss that element in my role. I love meeting, talking and getting to know students and hearing what they like to do. Many participate in extracurriculars, from fine arts to athletics, and these allow me time to connect with them beyond
What excites you most about your school’s future?
Our goal this year has been to return to “normal” school after the many changes from COVID, and we really were there as we wrapped up the school year. I am excited about how students are reconnecting to our school culture and want to be here on campus experiencing high school. I also am excited about the new teachers we have hired for the upcoming year. My goal for staffing is that every teacher is in exactly the right spot for them. I know that hiring the right people who want to spend their days with teenagers is one of the most important things I do each year.
What are your personal and professional goals?
My vision is to just do it better each year. I don’t really set long-term goals for myself. I just want to create an amazing high school experience for our students and have a school our families can be proud of. Personally, I always strive for balance in my life, taking time to appreciate how blessed I am. I want to be sure the people in my circle, especially my husband (Phil), know how grateful I am for each of them.
Tell us about your family and hobbies.
I have been married for 33 years. My husband is a retired Cobb principal, so he understands my super busy work life. We live in west Marietta near the national park. I enjoy gardening, even though I often lose the battle with the deer each year. I enjoy walking the trails near my home with my husband. My favorite vacation is a beach trip, which I do my best to work in several times a year.