Debbie Hill, assistant principal at Ledford Middle School, said she was honored to be named the 2008 North Carolina State Assistant Principal of the Year. “I really don’t know how to describe it,” she said about winning the award.
Hill, 50, grew up in Thomasville and graduated from Thomasville High School in 1975. She then attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting in 1979. “I didn’t start out with education,” she said. “I thought that (accounting) was what I wanted to do.” After working in accounting for five years, Hill decided after having her first child in 1984 that accounting wasn’t the job for her. She took a year off and then went back to UNCG in 1985 to complete the course work to become certified in middle school education with a concentration in math and science. “That’s what I should have done in the first place,” she said.
While in school Hill also had her second child before finishing her course work in December 1987. She then took a math position at North Davidson High School. In August 1988, she went to Tyro Middle to teach math and science to seventh- and eighth-graders. She stayed there for 16 years. “I love teaching,” she said. “I love working with middle-school age kids. I felt I had something to offer them.”
She received a master’s degree in school administration from Gardner-Webb University in 2003 and became the assistant principal at Ledford Middle in 2004. “I was ready for a change,” she said. “I was ready to move on to something else.” Ledford Middle Principal Evan Myers is the one who nominated and encouraged Hill to apply for the state title. “She’s great,” Myers said. “She does a little bit of everything. I’m thrilled to death to have her on my staff.”
Every year the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Assistant Principal of the Year Program honor an assistant principal from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. Also, a national winner will be selected from those chosen to represent each state. “I’m representing North Carolina for NASSP,” Hill said.
The NASSP is an organization for middle level and high school administrators that provides its members with the professional resources to serve as visionary leaders. It also promotes intellectual growth, academic achievement, character development, leadership development and physical well-being of youths through its programs and students leadership services. To be recognized as a state assistant principal of the year, Hill had to demonstrate success in areas such as collaborate leadership, curriculum instruction and assessment and personalization. Dr. Fred Mock, superintendent for Davidson County Schools, said assistant principals have many roles in public schools. “This is an awesome award,” Mock said. “Debbie is very dedicated to the needs of the middle-school children. We’re proud to have her as a representative of Davidson County Schools.”
Hill will be honored among other state and national winners at a black-tie event in Washington, D.C., in the spring. While in Washington, the honorees will have the opportunity to participate in professional development and networking activities with their peers. VIRCO, a school furniture manufacturer, is the sole sponsor of the NASSP State and National Assistant Principal of the Year Program. Continue reading