Lisa Duffey — LCS Principal of the Year

Our latest Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week column honors Lee County Schools’ Principal of the Year, Lisa Duffey from J.R. Ingram, Jr. Elementary School. Ms. Duffey has served as Ingram Principal for 8 years and was Assistant Principal there for 2 years previously. She attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow, where she earned a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. As a North Carolina Principals Fellow, she also graduated from UNC-G with a Masters in School Administration. Presently, Ms. Duffey is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at Gardner-Webb University.

It’s fair to say that in “normal times,” the job of an elementary school principal can action-packed. It’s even more true during our current circumstances. Ms. Duffey observes, “Most days now begin with recording and sharing announcements, conducting temperature and wellness checks for staff, and then heading out for one of the best parts of the day: car duty. Seeing our students in the morning is the best! My day then involves in-person visits to classrooms as well as virtual visits to the same classrooms to observe the delivery of high quality instruction.

“Throughout the days I am often developing systems and structures for our school under our new plans, facilitating collaborative planning with staff members, and analyzing data regarding the progress of students. Additionally, and this year more than ever, I just try to be present to hear, see, and know the needs of staff and students. It is my job to facilitate meeting those needs.”

Ms. Duffey also appreciates the opportunity to work with her colleagues at Ingram and throughout Lee County Schools, commenting “The staff at Ingram is like no other. Looking around and seeing the faces of people I have so much respect for can be overwhelming, especially during the times we are currently facing in education. They are overcomers, innovators. Each and every one of them inspire and challenge me to do more and be more. I have been so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by individuals that are so committed, collaborative, passionate, loving, and kind. I also consider myself extremely blessed to work in a district with such strong examples of leadership at the district level and within every school building. To represent Lee County Schools and all our district stands for in this way is something I am very grateful for.”