As Tracey Compton celebrates her 20th year with the Dawson County School System, she’s taking on a new role.
The board of education last week voted unanimously to promote the Kilough Elementary assistant principal to the position of principal in the wake of administrator Lois Zangara’s retirement.
Compton said working with Zangara at the helm has taught her many lessons, lessons she’ll use as a reference point as an elementary school principal.
“[Zangara] has taught me not to be reactive,” Compton said. “She’s very calm in the worst storm.”
That’s one of the key attributes a leader should possess, Compton added.
A detail-oriented person at heart, Compton said her predecessor has helped her to see “the big picture.
“She has helped me to broaden my perspective,” Compton said.
Through her years as a teacher and an administrator, she has learned many lessons.
“It’s all about genuine relationships,” she said. “Knowing the students, knowing the parents. I don’t believe you can really serve a child unless you have a relationship with them.”
A Forsyth County native, Compton and husband, Jeff, have one son, Casey, 16,
who attends Dawson County High School.
In her career with the Dawson County School System, Compton worked as a teacher at Dawson County Middle School for 11 years, a fifth grade teacher at Kilough for one year and as assistant principal for eight years.
Superintendent Keith Porter places much faith in Compton’s abilities.
“Through the years, she has been one of the most decorated teachers we’ve ever had in the Dawson County School System,” Porter said.
During the 2010-11 school year, she was selected as the state assistant principal of the year. She also was awarded the Philip Wright Award for her work with special education at Kilough.
During her time at Dawson County Middle School, she garnered awards for Georgia Math Teacher of the Year and Georgia Science Teacher of the year.
She holds a specialist degree in educational leadership.