This summer, Candis Jones took over the helm at Southeast Raleigh High School, the fourth principal at the magnet high school since 2011.
Jones, a Fayetteville native and former high school English teacher, credits one of her own high school teachers with inspiring her career in education.
“She basically told me that I was going to be successful and she was behind me. Coming from an adult who was not related to me, that meant a lot. It was a game-changer for me,” she said.
Jones attended North Carolina Central University on a teaching fellows scholarship. After graduation, she returned to Fayetteville where she worked as a teacher and assistant principal. She then made the move to Wake County, working as an assistant principal at Wake Forest High School for two years.
We asked Jones to weigh in on her arrival and plans for Southeast Raleigh High. An edited transcript follows:
We’ve been working very strategically with the magnet office and the magnet coordinator here on staff so that we can enhance our magnet program. Every student can be a leader in their own right.
I think that allowed some barriers to fall and some walls to crumble because in order to move forward, I knew that I had to gain the trust and respect of all stakeholders. I think slowly but surely I was able to do that and will continue to do that by building relationships and bridging the gap between the community and school. I knew ahead of time, I had a hurdle, but I did my best to prepare for that.
The second was to increase student academic achievement not just in our [end of course] areas but all accountability measures. And the last was to... enhance the magnet programs, the academies, and all programs in our building that make us different.
... I have a vision for this school and that vision is to be the premier school in Wake County, if not the state. And who wouldn’t buy into that vision? Who wouldn’t want that for their son or daughter? And I truly believe that we can get there if we put those goals in the forefront and we all share in the responsibility for reaching those goals.