Photo by Jerry Jackson
Felicia Brown, principal at Babb Middle School (center), was recently named Clayton County’s 2012 Principal of the Year. She is accompanied by her parents, Betty and Weston Brown.
Felicia Brown, the principal at Babb Middle School, underwent a rigorous interview process, in hopes of being selected as Clayton County’s 2012 Principal of the Year.
“There was a demanding process associated with the selections,” said Gloria Duncan, coordinator of professional learning for the school district. "We accepted nominations and applications from the schools, and ... judges used scoring sheets that helped determine their final selection.”
Brown got the surprise of her life last week, when the district's selection committee and other school representatives made a surprise visit to the school on Friday, to applaud her on gaining the crown.
“Surprised! You better believe I was surprised," said Brown. "This is an honor. All administrators in this county do an excellent job in their positions, and any one of them could have been chosen for this honor,” she said. “But when others recognize the job that you do, you learn to be appreciative of their judgment."
Brown was chosen over fellow finalists: Marcus Fuller, principal of Callaway Elementary School; Dr. Keith Colbert, principal of Lovejoy High School; and Stephanie Johnson, principal of Jonesboro High School.
The Principal of the Year Project–– recognizing outstanding achievement by top administrators at the county’s schools –– had been held, intermittently, in the past, but now is being planned as an annual event, according to Duncan.
"Brown was nominated for the title by one of her colleagues, because of her exemplary leadership style," Duncan said. She joins Machelle Matthews, now principal at Smith Elementary, and Kelly Veal, currently the principal at Riverdale Elementary, in winning the title in recent years.
For 21 years, Brown has served students, other educators, parents and the community, in various education-related positions. She began her career as a teacher in the Newton County School System, where she taught for five years.
She became a mathematics instructor at Babb Middle School, and worked at that job for four years. She then was an assistant principal at the school for six years, before becoming principal.
According to district officials, Brown and her administrative team at Babb Middle have led the school to earning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status for five consecutive years. Babb Middle has also been recognized by the State Department of Education as a Title I Distinguished School for three consecutive years.
District officials said Babb is known for its development of an impressive, state-award-winning Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) program, and for its growth as an athletic powerhouse that has secured county championships in football, girls-and-boys basketball, volleyball, and track.
"Teachers, students and staff at Babb Middle School do a great job," Brown said. "Teachers are self-motivated, innovative, creative, and need little encouragement.” She added that she makes sure teachers have the resources needed for their classrooms, to ensure success.
“Our students and parents know that there is no way around hard work. It is an expectation!" she said.
District officials said Brown, and Melissa Sloan, the 2012 Clayton County Teacher of The Year, from Lake City Elementary School, will be honored at a public celebration in January 2012.