Nixon named Principal of the YearPublished 9:08pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013
School may end at 2:40 p.m., but come by P.S. Jones Middle School at 5 p.m. and half of the faculty will still be in classrooms, working away.
During the first week teachers returned, veteran teachers pitched in to help new teachers prepare their classrooms.
It is that kind of dedication from her staff that P.S. Jones Middle School Principal Tracey Nixon says earned her this year’s designation as Beaufort County Schools’ Principal of the Year.
“I think that we have the best staff. We’re a team. Everything is a team effort,” Nixon said.
A panel comprised of a board member and two people from the community interviews candidates for Principal of the Year. The other portion of the score comes from surveys school staff complete.
“If you look at the resumes of the three most experienced administrators who were eligible for the title, only one person spent one single year working somewhere other than Beaufort County Schools,” said Don Phipps, superintendent of Beaufort County Schools. “I believe that should tell the community a great deal about the dedication of our team members. Special people are making special things happen within Beaufort County Schools every single day.”
Nixon, a native of Bath, graduated from Northside High School and attended North Carolina State University.
She said having family as neighbors, living in the small community of Bay View and the great friendships she had were what she loved most about Beaufort County. She has several friendships that date back to kindergarten.
“I’ve really built lifelong friendships,” Nixon said.
Middle school curriculum has changed since Nixon was a Beaufort County student.
“The push now is for everyone to go to college. Middle school students can earn high school credits if they want to get ahead,” she said.
The majority of Nixon’s career has been at P.S. Jones, the second-largest school in the district. She taught language arts for five years, remediation for one year and served as assistant principal for five years before taking the reigns in 2011.
Nixon said middle school is a wonderful age to teach and she misses the daily class interactions.
“It’s a unique age where you can make a difference. They’re not babies and they’re not adults,” Nixon said. “If you’re going to influence them, this is when you can.”