Brevard High’s principle, Jennifer Anderson, resigned this week. We asked her to talk about her future and reflect on her time at BHS.
by Tori Caroway and Cassie Bradley
Brevard High lost its principal, Jennifer Anderson this week. In one of the most difficult decisions of her career, Anderson decided to become a Clemson Tiger.
“I will be the director in assessment and accreditation for the College of Education, with a part-time teaching load, teaching masters and doctorate level students about educational leadership,” said Anderson.
Anderson made a big impact on both teachers and students.
“I am finishing up a post-masters and I’m thinking about doing a doctorate, and she was able to help me see the difference between the different kinds of doctoral programs,” said Heidi Bullock, AIG coordinator for BHS.
English teacher Katie Reinhart appreciated Anderson’s focus on students.
“She provided a lot structure and discipline, which I respect and appreciate. Her goal was the well-being of all students, even if it wasn’t what was most popular. It was what was right and I think that’s great,” Reinhart said.
Social Studies teacher John Hogan noted Anderson’s innovation.
“I think that Ms. Anderson came up with a number of programs which had a very beneficial impact on the school and on teachers, and I think it’s unfortunate she has only been here for a short time,” Hogan said.
When Anderson became a Blue Devil, she started what is known as a twenty-two plus diploma, which gives students a chance to graduate who otherwise might not have done so due to a variety of obstacles. This is why last year’s graduation will be a lasting memory for her.
“Ms. Anderson brought a great amount of graduates this past year, and with that she took leadership,” said sophomore Quenton Sample-French.
Some of Anderson’s decisions were controversial, especially in regards to the lunch schedule.
“She help brought change that which was very difficult,” said Chris Dodson, an English teacher.
Some students saw the value in the new schedule.
“Ms. Anderson helped with the tutorials–not that it’s my favorite, but it definitely helps with understanding better,” said freshman India Griffin.
Building relationships with kids and the community was always a focus for Anderson.
“My priority was to connect with kids and get to know the school and community and see where we need to make a difference and bridge those gaps that needed to bridged. Brevard High School was and is still a great school, but we can always do better and reach more kids,” Anderson said.
Anderson knew right away that Brevard is not ordinary.
“My first thought was that it was a very special school and mountain town that I already felt very connected to because my fiance is is an alumnus here. I felt very proud and still do to this day,” said Anderson.
Anderson will miss some aspects of a high school.
“High schools are really special settings. I think what makes them so special is the potential that lies within its walls,” Anderson said. “There is no other place that has the energy of 750 people who are on the verge of becoming adults and figuring what that means for them, and what that means for their community and so I think I will miss the potential that lies within this school to really shape Brevard, our community, and our state, our nation.”
Even though she is leaving BHS, Anderson is not leaving Brevard.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing to be a Brevardian. I said when I moved here about a year and a half ago, ‘I’m not from Brevard, but I´m from here now.’ I will still be living here in Brevard and look forward to be attending football games [and] basketball games,” Anderson said.