Toni Pickett (pictured above, second row middle) has been trying to work inside Atlanta Public Schools ever since she moved to Georgia from New Orleans about a decade. So APS’ new principals and academy leaders reception Thursday confirmed that Pickett’s move to Herndon Elementary is a dream come true. “I’m very excited to finally be in the district,” said Pickett, who comes to Herndon Elementary from Clarke County’s Howard B. Stroud Elementary in Athens. “This is a student population from an urban city, and I’m a city girl at heart. I’m committed to a quality education for our urban children, whom I’ve always felt just needed a little bit more. I’ve always wanted to make a difference with this population.”
APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall welcomed these new leaders with a recollection of her early days as a principal in Brooklyn:
I learned that an unwritten part of a principal’s job is to challenge beliefs, making sure students believe in their own potential; teachers believe in the potential of every child, and believe they’re supported and valued as professionals; and parents and community members believe in the quality of their public education system. In order to instill these beliefs in APS, now more than ever before, our focus must be on our school system’s highest responsibility: to provide the best possible education for students in every classroom in every school.
Dr. Hall also shared her excitement about the Effective Teacher in Every Classroom (ETEC) initiative, thanks in large part to a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and noted how Georgia’s recent selection to participate in the federally funded Race to the Top initiative will help. Check out the complete photo gallery here.