The first of December will mark a very important day in the lives of two Clinton City Schools employees.
As Jan Smith, current principal of L.C. Kerr Elementary, begins the life of retirement, Jennifer Pope, current assistant principal of Butler Avenue School, will begin the adventure of taking over for Smith.
Following a closed session Monday night at the regular board meeting, Clinton City Schools superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount announced the transfer of Pope from Butler to Kerr, taking on the leading role at the school.
With Smith’s last day set for Nov. 30, Pope’s first day in her new position will be Dec. 1.
Pope has been in education for 22 years. She began teaching at Hargrove Elementary and then taught at L.C. Kerr for nine years. For the last three years Pope has been the assistant principal at Butler Avenue, under the leadership of Vanessa Brown.
“I am very excited about this new part of my life,” Pope said during an interview from her office Wednesday afternoon. “I am looking forward to returning and working with the staff at L.C. Kerr.”
Pope stressed that she and those she will be working with have one thing in common — helping kids.
“I’ve learned how to do so many things in my time here at Butler,” Pope shared. “It’s my goal now to make sure the kids leaving Kerr and coming into Butler have the strong foundation they need to be successful.”
During her three years working with Brown, Pope said she has learned a great deal. Many of the things Brown has taught her, she said, will be very valuable when she makes the transition to Kerr.
According to Blount, the decision by the board to move Pope into the principal’s position at Kerr was an easy decision.
“We believe that Jennifer has the experience from Butler Avenue that has well prepared her for the next level,” Blount said. “I know Jennifer brings a great level of experience of Kerr and we are excited about what she has to offer.”
Through Pope’s years of experience teaching at the elementary level and now the assistant principal at the elementary level, Blount said he and the board felt she would know exactly what Kerr needs to take it from where Smith has brought it to a new level and move forward.
“Jennifer has worked to maximize the time she has had with the children at Butler,” Blount said. “The kids at Kerr will be lucky, because Jennifer knows exactly what they need to make them ready for Butler.”
Over the course of the next month, Pope and Smith will be working together to make the transition smooth for the students at both Kerr and Butler.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.