KENANSVILLE — Adrian Grandy, was appointed as the Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary School assistant principal by the Duplin County Board of Education last week during the board meeting. His role will be effective as of July 1.

“Since joining Duplin County Schools as a teacher in 2015, Mr. Grandy has been dedicated and committed to student success,” said Duplin County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Austin Obasohan. “We are excited to see these same qualities and compassion transfer to his new role as assistant principal, as he continues to positively impact the students, staff, and the Rose Hill Magnolia community in a powerful way.”

Grandy chose a career in education as a culmination of a lifelong dream and believes good teachers are those who empower students to fulfill their goals. He said, “The field of education impacts all other career paths. For no matter what you choose, it is due to the efforts of great teachers.”

Building relationships based on mutual respect and trust is of the utmost importance for promoting a positive culture, said Grandy.

“It is my belief that everyone must be valued and respected. Our students have a right to learn in an environment where they are supported, safe, accepted and teachers support learning by staying engaged in best instructional practices. So, when all stakeholders come together and focus on the same goals, a positive culture can be established,” he added.

One of the challenges that come with a leadership role, in times when the world is still dealing with COVID, is its inherent uncertainty. As we move into the second half of 2021, versatility is paramount and Grandy is ready to hit the ground running as he settles in his new role.

“I could compare being an assistant principal in times of COVID, to trying to put together puzzle pieces with no image to go by. COVID has everyone scratching their heads and it is a tedious process. There are so many emotions; stressing about health, making accommodations to keep everyone safe, etc., and it could get very overwhelming — if — one allows it. However, being an educator mindset is everything,” said Grandy.

“As an assistant principal one must commit to doing whatever is necessary to support student learners at all costs. That means in times of COVID one must be adaptable and remain poised at the same time. By doing so, I believe as I go back to my puzzle metaphor, while all the pieces are challenging, with precision and patience, a masterpiece unfolds over time. For all the challenges associated with COVID are not easy, but possessing the tenacity to rise above one’s circumstances, and personally leaning on my faith, allows me to know that victory is on the way,” he said.

For Grandy, organization, respect, adaptability, empathy, trustworthiness, creativity, time management, and teamwork are some of the most valuable skills an educator can poses. Grandy added, “These skills help individuals navigate through challenges and yield growth for every individual.”

Grandy’s vision for the 2021-2022 school year “is very simple,” as he puts it, elaborating that he hopes all stakeholders associated with RHM unify for the good of the students served. “I hope everyone aligns to the principal’s vision and we carry ourselves in a manner to be supportive to whatever is ‘best for the students,” said Grandy. “I hope that by operating with a student-centered approach, growth will be achieved both academically and behaviorally. I also have my personal goal to place theory into practice as I continue my stride to obtaining my Educational Doctorate in School Leadership.

The appointed assistant principal reminisced of his childhood, sharing that he used to collect items to play “school” during the summer.

“As one that always wanted to teach, I can recall years ago in elementary school asking teachers for consumables that I collected and used in the summer to play school,” said Grandy. “My parents bought me a chalkboard for my room, and I even set up my little teacher’s desk! I was ready and it was time. Having turned my bedroom into a classroom, my brother and my cousins (when they visited) knew what we would be playing and it was time for school.”

Grandy is a native of Dudley, N.C., who began his education at East Carolina University as a North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program scholarship recipient and graduated in 2007. He holds a bachelor’s in Middle Grades Education with ELA and Social Studies concentrations, a Masters of Education in General Education Studies from Liberty University, and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from the Queens University of Charlotte.

Grandy’s career started as a teacher in Wayne County, where he taught 7th and 8th grade for more than seven years. In 2015, he joined Duplin County Schools and taught for three years at Charity Middle as a Reading Cross-Grades teacher.

“This position allowed me to teach 6th-8th grade concurrently and enabled me to focus on the vertical and horizontal alignment of the English Language Arts Curriculum,” said Grandy.

According to Grandy, for the next four years, he taught 7th grade ELA and SS at Rose Hill Magnolia. “I served as a grade level chairman, a member of the School Improvement Team, a Mentor to beginning teachers, and Co-Chairman of the English Language Arts Department. I also was fortunate to be selected to serve on the Duplin County Teacher Advisory Board for two years,” said Grady. “I was even fortunate to transition and serve as Interim Assistant Principal at Rose Hill Magnolia Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year.”

Through his endeavors in these varied roles and his commitment to being a life-long learner, Grandy’s dedication to serving students remained consistent.

“When it comes to supporting the principal’s vision, it is important that I respect the role that I am fortunate to serve in, and that is the “assistant” principal,” said Grady who explained that in his role he must be one of the first partakers of the principal’s vision. “I must be vigilant in being a team player, remain a man of integrity and foremost as the principal’s vision aligns to state mandates, adheres to the goals and vision of the district, and the principal depicts her expectations geared towards moving the school in areas that yield continual growth and excellence, I must not sow division.”

Ena Sellers may be reached at esellers@ncweeklies.com