On the morning of Thursday, September 14, Superintendent Alisa McLean and senior staff made a surprise visit to Granville Early College High School. It was a secret visit of sorts, except for the fact that all of the students and staff knew about the occasion, except one. An unwitting participant, Principal Jackie Harris had been summoned to her office to have a meeting with Dr. McLean. Meanwhile, students and staff gathered in the hallway, preparing to surprise their school’s leader. With an abrupt knock at the door, Ms. Harris was told to quickly respond to an important incident. Her administrative instincts flung her into action, where she was then promptly startled and surprised by a throng of her students and teachers – all congratulating her for being named the Granville County Public Schools 2017 Principal of the Year!
Ms. Harris is a veteran educator with more than 26 years of experience, having worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She received her undergraduate degree from NCCU and her Master’s degree from NC State University. During her tenure as principal of Granville Early College, the school has consistently set the bar high on state testing criteria. Currently student performance ranks the school letter grade as an “A”, with more than 95% of the students graduating on time.
School districts from across the state choose a Principal of the Year. Principals nominate their colleagues for the honor, and a committee then makes the final decision. District POYs then go on to compete at the regional level, where the winner progresses on to the state level, and eventually the national competition.
When asked why colleagues nominated her for this honor, Principal Harris responded, “Probably because they know how much I love my students and staff. We truly are a team. Nothing makes me prouder to see our students walk across the stage at graduation. It’s a journey that we travel together, and one that I absolutely love.”