New principal follows family tradition
by Emily Boorstein
August 18, 2014 04:00 AM | 2390 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alison Broughton, the new principal at Baker Elementary School in Acworth, stands in front of the signage welcoming her arrival. The Lassiter graduate said she was inspired by her grandfather, John McClure, who taught ROTC at Sprayberry High School and was a member of the Board of Education, and her aunt, Debby Wilson, a retired principal who worked at Powder Springs Elementary. <br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Alison Broughton, the new principal at Baker Elementary School in Acworth, stands in front of the signage welcoming her arrival. The Lassiter graduate said she was inspired by her grandfather, John McClure, who taught ROTC at Sprayberry High School and was a member of the Board of Education, and her aunt, Debby Wilson, a retired principal who worked at Powder Springs Elementary.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
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ACWORTH — For Alison Broughton, the new principal at Baker Elementary, it was a no-brainer to become an educator — she comes from a long line of Cobb teachers.

The Lassiter graduate said she was inspired by her grandfather, John McClure, who taught ROTC at Sprayberry High School and was a member of the Board of Education, and her aunt, Debby Wilson, a retired principal who worked at Powder Springs Elementary.

“I used to go to career days with my aunt when she was a teacher and (I) just always just had a passion for kids, and that led me into the direction of being an elementary school teacher,” Broughton said.

Broughton said she likes working with elementary school children because she gets to see them blossom.

“I love their ages, they’re excited; you never know what they’re gonna say,” Broughton said.

Broughton has spent her entire 19-year teaching career in Cobb, and she even spent several years teaching at her former elementary school, Rocky Mount in Marietta. The first-time principal described working with some of her fellow colleagues at Rocky Mount, who once taught her.

“It was fun,” she said. “It was neat to hear their experiences and hear how the school had changed and see it evolve.”

Broughton said two principals at Rocky Mount — Doreen Griffith and Beth Perry — saw leadership qualities in her and pushed her to go into administration. “It was really their building me as a leader and empowering me” that led her to pursue advanced degrees in education, she said.

She said a group of about 15 teachers at Rocky Mount went through a program together through Piedmont College, which is how she obtained her master’s degree. About 10 people from that same group, including Broughton, went on to earn specialists’ degrees in leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.

Broughton is leaving Kennesaw Elementary School, where she was an assistant principal. While she had only been there for a year, Broughton said she’ll miss the staff and students.

“It’s a primary school; there’s a lot of little ones, but they were very welcoming to me,” she said. “I’ll definitely miss working with them and seeing their faces every day.”

The principal, Monica Howard, said she wasn’t surprised Broughton was chosen to lead a school of her own.

“I knew that her journey would continue very quickly,” Howard said. “Just seeing the passion and where she is, whether the leader or part of a group, she’s always there.”

Howard said Broughton is extremely energetic and engaging, and she immediately started learning students’ and teachers’ names. Howard also said Broughton always ensured all decisions made at the school were student-focused.

Along with saying the new principal should strive to be an active listener, Howard advised Broughton to “always keep the students first in all of (her) decisions and therefore, (she) will build all of these forces and tools for (students) appropriately for them to be successful.”

Broughton said her biggest challenge is starting her new role after the start of the school year and she wants to have a smooth transition. She replaces Shea Campbell, who was reassigned to Kemp Elementary School.

Broughton is looking forward to getting to know everyone at her new school and wants the community to feel comfortable in approaching her. She plans to meet with her new staff to discuss Baker’s strengths and weaknesses and continue what she called a strong foundation of excellence.

She wants the school community to know she is no stranger to the area, either.

“The Acworth and Kennesaw community is home to me; I’ve lived here for 15 years,” Broughton said. “My children have gone to school on this side of town, I live on this side of town, I attend church in the community and so it’s a wonderful community to be a part of, and I’m excited to be leading at such a wonderful school such as Baker.”

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