ROSEBORO — As a new administrator in the Sampson school system, Christiana Newkirk is continuing her goals to have a positive impact on middle school students.
She was recently named as the assistant principal of Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School, one of a few in the Sampson County Schools District.
“I’m very excited about this school and my principal’s vision towards moving forward,” Newkirk said. “I’m very proud to be a part of this dynamic team.”
Prior to this position, she was a sixth-grade math teacher for Clinton City Schools. Newkirk also taught math and science to fourth-graders. With more than 12 years of experience in education, some of her other work includes special education, an elementary administrative internship at Butler Avenue Elementary and a principal fellowship.
“Administrators are in a position to break down barriers,” Newkirk said. “It’s a different type of role because you’re able to have a broader impact.”
With ties to Sampson County, Newkirk graduated from Union High School and was involved in the student government association. After graduation, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Tar Heel fan later earned a master’s degree in school administration from Fayetteville State University and another master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix.
Education plays a big part in Newkirk’s life.
“I saw that as my way out and to do better and be a better person,” she said.
Her fourth-grade teacher Kim Knowles introduced her to education and the world of UNC. She was inspired to follow in her footsteps.
“I wanted to be an educator and I wanted to have the same effect on someone else that she had on me,” she said about positive encouragement.
For Newkirk, the middle school is a good place to continue strides under the leadership of Principal Shajuana Sellers. Along with improving recruitment, one of her goals is to improve student culture.
“I want them to feel safe, confident and wanting to come to school,” Newkirk said.
That also includes behavior expectations. A big part of her job is being an enforcer and handling student consequences.
“I want them to be well aware of the consequences before they make the decisions,” she said. “I also want to involve myself in the positive impact of behavior and making them understand that good behavior is awarded.”
Outside of school, she enjoys spoken word poetry. But sometimes it’s intertwined in education and discipline lessons.
“When I’m talking to students, I try to use my creativity to get them to see things in a different manner,” she said about using creative metaphors. “I try to give them a metaphor which is done in poetry writing a lot.”
Newkirk enjoys working with youths at the middle school level and how a lot of them are honest when it comes to seeking help.
“They’re not too grown and they’re still depending on you for a lot of information,” she said. “We introduce a lot of things that they’ll specialize in later. I like the curriculum and their ability to grasp it.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.