By Maureen Paige, Winton Machine Operations Manager
In early November, I had the privilege to be Principal for a Day at Gwinnett County’s Taylor Elementary School located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. To start the day, Principal Paula Cobb and I presented Mrs. Renee Long with the Teacher of the Year 2018-2019 Award. This was extra special since I’ve known Mrs. Long for several years because she was teaching when my own children attended Taylor Elementary. Mrs. Long is a determined professional who is making a big difference in students’ lives. I was in awe and humbled to hear about her devotion and accomplishments.
Next I joined Dr. Donna Ledford, Assistant Superintendent, for her monthly review of test scores. She said, “You can’t challenge a student to improve if you don’t assign a grade level or only give them what’s easy to learn. Challenge is what brings out a student’s determination.” We also walked together throughout the school for her classroom observations. During our tour, I saw some familiar faces. As the Collins Hill Athletic Association President, I knew some of the students from their participation in Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation programs. Of course, there were many hugs to go around.
Later in the day, the 5th Grade STEM Group invited me to join their meeting where a lively discussion took place. Their questions, excitement and energy reminded me why I once considered teaching as a career.
I experienced firsthand why people say being a school principal is like being a CEO. They manage so many priorities including safety, personnel and budgeting. Principal Cobb manages a large teacher staff with one-on-one and team meetings. Mrs. Paula Cobb is also personable and dedicated to the students. She knows which students need special help because of individual or family situations. She thinks outside the box on how to make those children feel loved and supported. Her leadership assures a positive classroom learning experience for everyone.
As a parent, I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation of what our educators go through each day of the school year. I am impressed by the high level of care shared by the administrative team and teaching staff for all the varying needs of the children. When I realized there are over 900 students, I was amazed that students are truly known. They were even greeted by their names as they came into the school and then headed for home. This amount of love and awareness needs to be appreciated by all the parents and our community at large.
My Principal for a Day experience is one I will treasure. I am privileged to do my small part to help raise awareness of the amount of love, care and leadership at Taylor Elementary.
See more pictures on our Facebook page.