Pam Colbert of Elkin Middle School recently was honored as Elkin City Schools’ Principal of the Year.
She said the honor was appreciated but gave credit and accolades to staff as a big part of her success. “It was as much for them as it was for me,” said Colbert.
She said it is nice to hear the affirmation of a good job, and spoke of her philosophy of building up and affirming staff and students as part of her strategy.
She said she spends real time in wondering how to help staff feel happy and prepared when coming to work, so they can enjoy teaching. It makes an everyday difference in the classroom, she said.
“We are builders and not tearing down carries over to students, and helps with their success,” she said. Everyone needs to feel needed and tapping into students’ and teachers’ strengths is what Colbert says she loves to do.
Also, “I want to cultivate a sense of family,” she added.
She said no matter a student’s grades through the process, she keeps her eye on the prize and relishes a good finish. She said it is a blessing to be able to be part of success in that way for students and staff.
Her parents, Larry and Rosa Brown of Wilkesboro, cultivated her affirming philosophy, and were her number one influences, she said. She said her father always told them to try their best and helped others do the same.
“My grandma and really… my extended family, as a whole. I have always been surrounded by people who really care about others and take into account their needs and happiness.”
Linda Little was Colbert’s first principal.
“Linda taught me so much about work ethic and dedication to the profession of education. I knew that no matter how hard she expected me to work, she would be working harder.”
She recalled “teacher, Mrs. Hendren, I don’t even know her first name but when I had her I was an avid writer and she created a bookmaking center so that I could make and illustrate my own books when I finished what was assigned. I loved her for that.”
Steve Harvel, Ric Vandette, Diane Swaim, Brenda Woodruff, JoAnne Wooten, Sharon Huffman also made an impact in her profession, she said.
“These were awesome teachers I had in high school who believed in me and pushed me to do my best. They are really responsible for giving me the inspiration to be the kind of educator who cares about children and helps those who need it, and shows compassion, has a sense of humor and truly loves what I do, because they modeled all those things to me in how they treated me and how I saw them treat others.”
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.