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We salute Bolden, our great leader at ECMS

Editor’s note: The following was written by Danielle Logan on Oct. 16, 2017.
After a 30- year career in many areas of public education, Ms. Deborah Bolden has come home to Atmore.

This choice was a huge gift to our community, as Ms. Bolden took on the challenge of sitting at the helm of Escambia County Middle School as its principal.

Since June 2016 when Bolden took on her new role at ECMS, she has shown her students, staff, faculty, parents and the community that she is a true leader. Although today, Oct. 16, 2017 may be considered Boss’s Day, that title simply does not fit Ms. Bolden. She is a true leader. She uses the knowledge gained from prior experiences and studies in higher education to lead a staff with grace and goodwill. She is a very focused, regimented and detailed person with a plan for almost anything.

Student growth toward meeting the highest possible standard is her goal and one she has spread throughout the school. We do this by having each student be successful in each grade level. The target of having students prepared to do their best in the next grade remains a constant focus. Ingrained in every staff member and student is the knowledge that all are capable of being college or career ready when they leave our schools. In order to do this, Bolden focuses on providing intense professional development for teachers, has high standards for instruction and is a constant in every classroom observing student engagement and outstanding teaching.

Bolden is also an excellent planner. She works tirelessly to develop the faculty, community, parents and students to be an active voice in every aspect of ECMS. Our last parent conference night was one of the largest in many years. This has prompted Bolden and the leadership team to develop more nights such as these. Watch out for upcoming learning opportunities for all. Budget planning is another area of strength. Since Bolden has been at ECMS, she has surveyed staff and students and has begun to fill deficits in areas of technology, library equipment, robotics and other much-needed instructional materials. Through a committee with teacher, parent and community input the financial plan supports us all. The plan is completely transparent and visible in every classroom and lab.

Because of Bolden’s attention to detail and being regimented in all areas, a sense of accountability is present in all staff and students, with all being accountable for his/her own actions. Everyone knows what the expectations are at ECMS and follow Bolden’s model to be the best every day. Doing it right the first time is ingrained in all on campus, however, when it’s not done right the first time, we all know to go back and do it again. We believe that students should not be punished for things they do not know, but do expect them to do what they know is right. This includes every aspect of our day- morning breakfast, walking to assigned areas, having correct uniforms, making the BEST possible grades and following all school rules, especially when no one is watching.

Bolden’s use of the “we” approach has helped the staff become closer and highly focused on the overall goal of supporting student growth in all areas. She generates enthusiasm by walking side by side with students, parents, and faculty. Bolden never asks anyone to do anything she is not willing to do herself. One piece of evidence that her car is on campus before daylight and most nights still here after dusk.

Bolden has used her sharp focus, planning, and regimented leadership style to make ECMS a place where learning is the top priority. This may seem like an obvious goal; however, without the best leadership and support it is often not the case. With her vision and coaching spirit, Bolden has led ECMS to reach standards and growth not seen in many years.

“Happy Leaders’ Day, Ms. Bolden!”

We all look forward to what is to come.