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Educator tops in state
Assistant principal honored for service
3 Top Educator pic
Kilough Elementary School assistant principal Tracey Compton, right, shown here with principal Lois Zangara, was recently honored by a state-level association for her leadership. - photo by Frank Reddy Dawson Community News

One word to describe Kilough Elementary School’s Tracey Compton?



Officials with a state-level association for educators have honored Compton as the 2010 Outstanding Assistant Principal for Georgia, the only award of its kind in Georgia.


Compton, a 20-year veteran of the Dawson County school district, recently learned that the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals had chosen her for the designation.


Compton said being a successful school leader “is all about relationships. You have to build them with the students, teachers and parents.”


She added that it also helps to be “very organized and detail-oriented ... which can be a blessing and a curse.”


Principal Lois Zangara said Compton’s attention to detail works well for them as an administrative duo.


“I can see the big picture,” Zangara said. “I can’t see the steps and details. Tracey gets out the magnifying glass, and she sorts through it all.”


With Zangara’s help, Compton said she’s learning to see the 10,000-foot view.


“She has taught me to see the big picture,” Compton said. “We are total opposites in many ways, but we complement each other. I have learned a tremendous amount from her, and I hope to keep learning throughout my career.”


Compton’s career began at Dawson County Middle School in 1991, when she was hired as a teacher.


She was there for 11 years, then she went to Kilough to teach fifth grade. In 2003, she accepted the position of assistant principal.


Compton said she’s “always wanted to be an educator. I never knew anything different.”


For an educator to receive the Outstanding Assistant Principal award, Zangara said, it’s “a huge honor.”


The award is presented yearly by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.


According to its Web site, the accolade goes to people who “personify leadership qualities.”


Compton will be recognized by the association during its annual conference in November at St. Simons Island.


Compton and husband, Jeff, live in Dawson County with son, Casey, who is in 10th grade at Dawson County High School.