West Edgecombe Middle School Principal Donita Gregory is preparing for the upcoming school year with a plan to engage the Rocky Mount school’s students and families.
Gregory has been an educator for 15 years in a variety of roles, but mainly with an emphasis on serving students with exceptionalities.
“I wanted to fight for those students who were in the EC department, and I also wanted to be an advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves,” she said. “This way, I could try to make their lives a little bit better.”
Although Gregory had been an assistant principal for five years, her first principalship was her assignment to West Edgecombe.
Since that time, she has found the most rewarding experience in getting to expose the students to the world outside of Edgecombe County and North Carolina.
Additionally, she has enjoyed the aspect of helping to “grow” teachers.
“I will continue to do this by providing them with professional development opportunities, whether it is provided by me, the district or an outside agency,” Gregory said. “If I grow my teachers and give them what they need, they will grow my students and give them what they need.”
The vision Gregory has set for the 2014-15 academic year can be summed up in three words – expose, explore and engage.
“I think the name of the game is exposure,” she said. “I want to expose our students to as much as possible by focusing on college and career readiness. I want each grade level to take their students on at least one college visit so that they can explore what different colleges are like throughout the school year.”
The idea, she added, is to have student explore and delve into the college and talk with people in fields they may want to pursue.
Gregory also recognizes that parents are a vital key to the success of students, and she plans to keep them involved.
“We will give out report cards a day earlier again this year so that parents can have individual conferences with their child’s teacher,” she said. “We’ll hold a Wildcats Stars Ceremony where parents can come see their children be recognized for being on the Honor Roll.
“Parents will also be able to participate in our Parent Appreciation Week so that they can feel free to sit in their child’s class all day, eat breakfast and lunch with them, and we’ll also have a little surprise for them.”
Gregory’s mantra is that “West is the Best” and she plans to demonstrate that with the staff members, students, and families at West Edgecombe Middle school.