Jennifer Pope has dedicated the last two decades committed to educating the leaders of tomorrow. Surrounded by her peers, the L.C. Kerr School principal received top honors Wednesday afternoon as the Clinton City School’s Principal of the Year.
Pope began her journey in the educational field after graduating from Fayetteville State University with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and history. She began teaching the same year at Hargrove Elementary School, as a fourth grade teacher.
According to Dr. Stuart Blount, superintendent of Clinton City Schools, Pope was selected for the honor based on her years of experience as an administrator, improvements in overall school performance and achievement data at L.C. Kerr, her community involvement and her passion for learning.
“Under the leadership of Mrs. Pope, the student attending L.C. Kerr continue to improve their reading skills, which prepares them for success in life,” Blount said.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Pope thanked her peers for the confidence they have shown in her, and made a commitment to continue serving Clinton City Schools to the fullest.
“It takes all of us to make Clinton City Schools what it is,” Pope said, as she fought back tears. “Our focus is bettering our students.”
After beginning her teaching career, Pope returned to Fayetteville State and obtained her master’s degree in elementary education, and later graduated from the University of North Carolina Pembroke with her masters in school administration.
Pope served as the assistant principal at Butler Avenue School from 2012 until December 2015, and was then named the principal of L.C. Kerr School.
While serving at Butler, under the leadership of Vanessa Brown, Pope said in an interview in 2015 that she was able to learn many things, preparing her for the leadership role.
“Mrs. Pope’s dedication to our school system is second to none,” Blount added. “She is a product of Clinton City Schools and takes great pride in giving back to a community that is so near and dear to her heart. We are truly blessed to have Mrs. Jennifer Pope as part of the Clinton City Schools family and we wish her the best in the regional and state principal of the year process.”
Blount made the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the opening ceremony for staff and faculty returning back to school. Pope wasn’t the only person who received words of encouragement as she goes through the process for regional and state principal of the year honors.
“Look within ourselves to facilitate a commitment to prepare the future,” Blount said as he encouraged the teachers to work hard this year to prepare students.
Pope is married to DeLeon Pope, and they have two sons, Landon, a student at Sampson Community College and Tanner, a senior at Clinton High School.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.