McFerrin graduated from the school in 1991 and went off to the University of Georgia where he studied broadcast journalism. After earning his journalism degree, he thought he might decide to teach the subject one day. So he returned to school and earned his master’s degree in education. He then took those skills he learned in college, returned to Dunwoody High as a teacher and created the Academy of Mass Communications in 2003.
“I got to teach something that I loved, which was journalism,” he said. “And also I got to be around students and that program has been going about 11 years now, it’s been a great program.”
In 2008, McFerrin decided to further his skills by earning his specialist’s degree and became an assistant principal at the school the following year. Now he is gearing up to be the principal at a school that has been a large part of his life, and he said he is looking forward to the school year.
“It’s always been such a great school with obviously a strong academic and athletic presence here,” said McFerrin. “It’s a great community, you can’t beat this community at all. It’s been like that since I was a teenager, all the way up until today.”
Having grown up in the community, McFerrin said he does feel a bit of pressure to do well, especially since he is the fifth principal of the school since 2008. That pressure along with now being over the teachers he has taught alongside for many years was an initial worry for McFerrin.
But he said having his fellow teachers know he cares for the students and the community as much as they do, has helped him into his leadership transition.
McFerrin said his high school principal Jennie Springer was an inspiration to him from her way of leading and her familiarity with her students. He said he will take her influence and also motivate his teachers to go above and beyond to do what is right, “even when no one is looking.”
On the curriculum side, McFerrin said he would like to get the school back to a School of Excellence and emphasized the many elective programs offered for students like fine arts, engineering, robotics and world languages.