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McDonough Elementary ushers in new principal
by Nneka M. Okona
nokona@neighbornewspapers.com
August 23, 2012 01:03 PM | 1348 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jolie Hardin, McDonough Elementary School’s newest principal to take the helm, may be a stranger to the school but her career in education is far from it.

Hardin has been an educator for the past 19 years, eight of which she spent as an administrator in the Houston County School System before coming to Henry County this summer.

Education, despite her passion for the field, was not her original career path.

“I always played teacher as a child, but I originally went to school to become a CPA,” she said. “I learned quickly after taking a few classes that it was time to change majors.”

And change majors she did. Hardin completed her Bachelors of Science in Education at Georgia Southern University and went on to complete two Masters degrees — a specialist degree from Georgia College and State University and a doctorate from Argosy University of Atlanta.

Going the route of leadership versus just teaching in the classroom was prompted by a suggestion of her principal after finishing her fourth year of teaching.

“My principal encouraged me to go back to school and get a leadership degree,” she said. “The summer I finished my leadership degree is when I was hired to be an assistant principal for instruction at Northside Middle School in Houston County.”

Just like her previous roles in administration, Hardin plans to take a strategic approach for her position with McDonough Elementary.

This includes keeping her expectations high with both staff and students to ensure high-level instruction and performance. Hardin also emphasized that she will hold staff to a firm standard of accountability.

“It is my responsibility to put the necessary tools in the teacher’s hands for them to deliver what is necessary,” she said. “If we have instructional or operational weaknesses, it is my responsibility to provide professional development for teachers to improve those weaknesses in a very timely manner. Our students deserve top-notch instructors who believe failure is not an option and are willing to provide different opportunities for different learning styles.”

Forming strong relationships with the families of the students is another goal of Hardin’s.

“Since I am new to McDonough Elementary, one goal is to create relationships with the families of our students,” she said. “It is critical for parents to know and trust the principal of any school.”

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