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Discovery Middle School principal takes position with the district

After six years of serving as principal of Discovery Middle School, Sharon Willis is moving on to serve as At Risk Coordinator for the district.

She has worked at Discovery for a total of 13 years—11 years as an administrator and two as a teacher.

“I’ve worked in a number of different school systems in South Carolina, as well as in Alabama,” Willis said. “And Madison City Schools and Discovery Middle School I can honestly say are the best place I’ve ever been.”

Willis said she’s in transition now, as she’s trying to tie up loose ends at Discovery.

“I’m working on schedules, making sure the facilities are looking great,” Willis explained. “So it’s going to be a couple of weeks.”

No replacement for her has been found at this time.

“My time at Discovery has been awesome,” Willis said. “Discovery is truly a family.”

She said while she’ll still be out in a lot of area schools, she’s going to miss the students at Discovery.

“I’ll really miss the daily interaction with all of the kids—walking in the halls, walking in classrooms and seeing the really good instruction going on,” Willis said.

She said she’s also going to miss the teachers at Discovery.

“They love the kids, they care about the kids and they work hard,” Willis said. “When you see people that give 150 percent, and I’ve got a lot of teachers who do, that just pushes you to do that much more.”

Willis said even though Discovery went through a tough time recently, the school came out even stronger. She credits that strength to the faculty and staff.

As for her new role as At Risk Coordinator, Willis said superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler wants her to keep a focus on what’s being done for the at-risk students.

“A student can be at risk for a number of reasons,” Willis explained. “For example, in this economic situation we have students finding themselves for the first time actually homeless. You’ve got children that are at risk because perhaps education hasn’t been the priority of the family. And students with disabilities can be at risk at certain times.”

She said they will be looking at how students are scoring. If a student’s are achieving below what the faculty knows they’re capable of, they might be at risk, too.

“We need to look at what we can do to really engage those students in their learning and in the instruction—whether it’s by trying different methods or making sure the instruction is the best it can be,” Willis said.

She said she’s looking forward to her new career.

“I’m looking forward to doing something a little different,” Willis said. “And having my walking shoes on so I can be in all the schools.”

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