Principles taught us by principals

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

Like many of you, the death of Mr. Roland Pettie came as a shock to me.

On Friday, he had called me about some things he wanted us to cover, but he always asked me if he could write some columns for the newspaper. This message was part of a long message left on my office voicemail.

I made a note and noting the time, said I would call him back on Monday. Sadly, as you know, he died Friday afternoon.

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I'll be the one of the first people to tell you that I take the principals at our high schools for granted. For the most part, they are always a source of information.

Surprisingly, they wear many hats while they are at school and away from school.

Away from school, their behavior must always set the example of good citizenship and their actions should always be above reproach.

That's a good way to be.

They do indeed practice what they teach.

In school, they are the northern star for the students, staff and faculty.

They are usually there before anyone else except maintenance and they are often the last to leave in the afternoon.

They are public information officers, making sure that the good news of their school makes it onto my radar.

They are disciplinarians.

They act as a leader, a friend, a psychologist and so much more.

When they move down a hallway, they roll like thunder.

We are blessed here in Butler County to have very strong, well-educated men and women to lead our schools.

On Tuesday, I had to visit McKenzie and watched as Mr. Randy Williams, principal of McKenzie School stop work on a project so that could work with some students.

Dr. Kathy Murphy always seems available when I need something and if she isn't available, she calls back with remarkable speed.

It is funny to watch Dr. Murphy around her students.

She genuinely respects her students and in return they respect her.

Mrs. Carole Teague is always open to help me on projects we come up with here that requires an elementary teacher or student.

Of all of our principals, I would have to say she is the best about keeping us informed of what's happening at her school.

Headmaster David Brantley is also a good example of a school's leader.

He is quick to give advice to his students and leads them all toward their own dreams

That's what you have inside the walls of any school.

A million dreams just waiting to happen.

For those students in Georgiana, do remember that although Mr. Pettie is not here with us, he still looks after your dreams.

I'll miss him.

Indeed he was a good, just man.

Jay Thomas is managing editor of the Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at