Patricia Alford, who was appointed as the principal of Durham on June 26, said she has “roots” in the Acworth community surrounding her new school.
“I grew up in this area,” she said. “I’m invested in this community.”
Alford began teaching in the district at East Cobb Middle School in 2001, where she said she formed close bonds with her students.
“You always miss that close relationship you have with students in the classroom,” she said of the transition from her role as a teacher to that of an administrator. “But I still think you can have great relationships with kids.”
Alford said she will miss the ties she shares with students and staff at her current school.
“I will miss the great relationships with the people in the Dickerson community, but I’m looking forward to building those relationships here (at Durham),” she said.
Alford has served in Dickerson’s administration since 2010, rising from assistant administrator to assistant principal in 2011.
The district’s decision to hire administrators from within its ranks is a good move, according to Connie Jackson, who is president of the Cobb County Association of Educators, a teacher advocacy group.
“It shows employees you can progress and stay in the county for your career,” Jackson said.
Cobb Board of Education Vice Chairman Randy Scamihorn’s grandson just graduated from Durham.
Scamihorn said Alford “will see very quickly she has acquired an excellent school.”
Alford, a North Cobb High graduate, said she is looking forward to contributing to the high standards the school exhibits.
“Durham is already such a fantastic place that my goal is just to continue the great things happening and the relationships with students and teachers,” Alford said. “It’s a really positive place to be, and I just want that to continue.”
The Patricia Alford file:
• Age: 36
• Family: Husband, an attorney; 2 boys, 7 and 11 years old
• Education: Bachelor’s from University of Georgia; master’s from Kennesaw State University; specialist from University of West Georgia; Ph.D from University of Southern Mississippi