THOMASVILLE — Being a school principal was always a dream for Dr. Jacqueline Scott; she just didn’t think it would happen so soon. Scott, 36, is celebrating her first week as the new principal at MacIntyre Park Middle School.

“I had a dream to be a principal and I worked so hard on my doctorate in educational leadership,” Scott said Wednesday. “I really aspired to do this job but I did not expect to receive an opportunity to do it until later. This was offered to me and I’m so nervous, but excited. I truly believe you have to have complete preparation so whenever the opportunity comes you are ready for it.”

Scott, born and raised in Columbus, attended Muscogee County Schools, then completed her undergraduate studies at Columbus State University. Scott attended grad school at Columbus State and Valdosta State University.

“I have two younger sisters and I always wanted to teach them things I knew so we would play school at our house,” she said. “That evolved and I was always one to take leadership roles in clubs or church activities. I knew I wanted to be a leader; I’m the type of person who organizes things and makes it happen.”

Scott was a graduate assistant at CSU, teaching in its department of developmental studies. From there, she became director of the Challenger Learning Center in Columbus at the Coca Cola Space Science Center (part of the university).

“I worked there for six years and it was an amazing job,” she said. “I even flew simulated missions with students from Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee.”

But, Scott still wanted to teach in a formal, public school setting and took jobs at high school and middle school levels as a math instructor.

She met some people from south Georgia during her studies at VSU and decided to apply for a position in the area. Scott sent a resume to Thomasville City Schools and was hired as a math coach and assistant director for Thomasville City Schools Scholars Academy last year.

“I worked with teachers to help with teaching strategies to raise test scores and I believe we accomplished that,” Scott said.

Her goals as principal include leading the school to making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for a second year so it will be taken off the “needs improvement” list, getting more students involved in the school’s new Bridge program (preparation for scholars academy or AP courses), and having students be more active in academic competitions and helping them learn about different career options.

She has a son, Kevin, 10, who is a fifth-grader at Jerger Elementary School.

MacIntyre Park sixth-graders Kendrick Robinson and Jamaya Austin said they look forward to spending time with Scott.

“It’s good to have a new principal,” Austin said. “I’m still getting to know her.”

Scott said her experience, thus far, as principal has been “overwhelming.”

“MacIntyre Park is filled with teachers who are dedicated to student achievement and growth; I’m amazed at their expertise,” she said. “The students are excited about learning and the parents have already become more involved than I had ever hoped. It’s gone much better than I expected. This school is pumped!”

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