Monica Fox, principal at Gladeville Elementary School, was recently named Wilson County’s 2018 Principal of the Year, according to Wilson County Schools.
For those who know Monica Fox, it probably comes as no surprise that she’s been named Principal of the Year. Not only is she one of the most likeable people on the planet, but Fox is also one of the few educators in Wilson County who can say they’ve spent their entire 26-year career working at the same school.
In 1992, fresh out of college, Fox accepted a position as the P.E. teacher at Gladeville Elementary. Just four years later, she was tapped to become the school’s Assistant Principal, and for the past 15 years, parents and students have come to know her as the woman in charge.
Step one foot inside Gladeville Elementary, and visitors quickly sense the “Gator Pride” that abounds. Under Fox’s leadership, Gladeville Elementary has been recognized twice by the Tennessee Department of Education for being among the top 5 percent of elementary schools across the state for achievement and growth; but make no mistake … this longtime administrator is never one to steal the spotlight.
According to Fox, “The success I’ve attained has been a result of the work of our dedicated teachers and staff who put children first every day, and the work of our students who concentrate on giving their best effort each day.”
As one might imagine, Fox’s leadership style is one of the reasons she is so widely respected by the teachers who work for her, as well as the parents and students she serves.
Not only has she taken the school to new heights academically, but Fox has also been a champion for anti-bullying. Each year, students in the 5th grade partner with their teachers to produce an original video, designed to promote the acceptance of others and solidify the school motto: “Peace, Love, Gators.” The latest video came be viewed on the Gladeville Elementary website.
This year’s school theme consisted of two simple words — “Choose Kind.”
Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright says it is a message that couldn’t be more relevant or timely.
“Social media and cell phone apps have created a toxic environment for our young people, particularly when it comes to bullying,” said Wright. “When I see schools like Gladeville taking proactive steps to fundamentally change that culture, it makes me unspeakably proud.”
Earlier this year, the school hosted a surprise assembly in Fox’s honor, complete with a green carpet and gator crown. Students and staff came up with an acronym to describe her:
P – Positive (she’s always positive)
R – Rule (she expects us to follow the “Golden Rule”)
I – Inspire
N – Number one!
C – Caring
I – Improvement (we all have room for it)
P – Praise (she offers it readily)
A – Appreciative (she always is)
L – Love (she shows it in equal measures to all)