While looking over grants for Clinton City Schools, Nacole Hayes pressed keys on a calculator and scrutinized a spreadsheet program on her computer.
“I like to use the calculator to double-check the figures to make sure they’re correct,” Hayes said about her work.
As an aide for the school systems, Hayes is looking forward to beginning her new role as the administrative assistant to the superintendent and the board. Some of her duties will include providing assistance to Superintendent Stuart Blount, the Clinton City Board of Education and the public.
She will take the position being vacated by long-time employee Jackie Murray.
“Whatever the capacity, there’s an opportunity for you to impact somebody’s life because we make an impression of Clinton City Schools whenever we interact with the public,” Hayes said.
For Hayes, it’s a family-oriented environment.
“Anytime there’s things we need to do with our family and our children, that is encouraged,” Hayes said. “I see they’re about family and community. I think it’s awesome that it’s not just the conversation, but that’s the atmosphere that they set. They were real supportive of me coming over. It’s a wonderful group of people for anybody to work with.”
The district is saying goodbye to one of its family members Friday. After 35 years of work in administration, Murray retired as the administrative assistant to the superintendent and the board. Before the transition, Murray assisted Hayes with some of the training during meetings and work sessions.
“She’s had a full plate, so I’m looking forward to that position,” Hayes said.
Hayes said working as an administrative assistant is a behind-the-scenes job, but it’s an important role because it helps to provide needs for the community and the Board of Education.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I think it’s a blessing to be extended that favor. “It’s a great opportunity to serve Clinton City Schools.”
It’s something she loves about the school district and her position at the central office.
“They look at these positions as serving the students and the community,” Hayes said. “That’s really what the schools are all about.”
Hayes grew up in Harrells and has lived in Clinton for 13 years. After graduating from Union High School, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology from North Carolina Theological Seminary. She said the next step is to earn a doctorate.
In the future, Hayes said she would like to study Christian counseling, too.
“It’s counseling, but it’s biblically-based,” she said.
Being a Christian is a major part of her family’s life. She’s married to Frederick Hayes, a captain with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department. Together they have four children, Nkyia, a seventh-grader at Sampson Middle School; Lahaysha; Quincy; and Zerrick.
“I gave my life to Christ when I was 24,” she said. “It a commitment I did not take likely.”
When Nacole and Frederick are not working, they enjoy taking walks with their children.
“We try to do that every day,” she said. “That’s something we do as a family.”
Her faith is something she uses in every part of her life.
“Not just in church on Sundays, but in my home and my workplace, because my goal is to exemplify who Christ is, by the way I treat people and the way I interact with them,” Hayes said.
Before coming to the central office, she was an administrative assistant at Clinton High School, which required corresponding with parents and the central office staff.
“I think this new position opens a door,” she said. “Right now, I want to see how far that can take me. I can see that stretching me.”
Prior to coming to the school system, she worked at her church, Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Clinton, for almost nine years working as a receptionist and office manager.
Hayes was encouraged by Bishop Varnie Fullwood to move forward.
“He said I’m grooming eagles in this church and now it’s time to spread your wings,” she said.
As a child growing up in the church, she was taught to have a “Spirit of Excellence.”
“I see the favor of God in my life, but I also see that it’s the teaching of the people that he’s put in my life,” Hayes said. “We have to be humble and we have to be teachable because in order to be good leaders we have to be good followers.”
(Chase Jordan can be reached at 910-249-4617. Follow the paper on Twitter @SampsonInd.)