Cole wants to make learning fun

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 18, 1999

West Primary Principal Kate Cole says she had tears in her eyes after learning she was the school district’s Administrator of the Year.

&uot;It shocked me. It absolutely put me into shock,&uot; she said. &uot;I was speechless.&uot;

Cole has spent 32 years in education, including 18 years as a principal in Natchez public schools. She has been the principal at West Primary for the past eight years.

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Despite all the years, she is still happy with her work. &uot;There is nothing boring in education,&uot; she said.

The pre-kindergarten to first-grade students at West make up one of her favorite age groups. Cole believes young children are so full of spontaneity, honesty, love and forgiveness that it makes them wonderful to teach.

&uot;It takes such a little bit to make their day,&uot; Cole said. &uot;Just to get a sticker makes them happy, and some of the things they say just tug at your heart.&uot;

The goal of the West Primary staff and Cole is to make learning fun for the students.

&uot;To me it’s important that children like to come to school,&uot; she said.

Teachers at West Primary see themselves as laying the groundwork for the for the rest of a child’s education, she said. &uot;We really strive to make that foundation strong,&uot; Cole said.

The staff also tries to bring a sense of family to the learning environment to help students identify themselves with the school, Cole said.

&uot;The people that surround you and help you, make you or break you,&uot; she said. &uot;Your success lies in them to a great extent.&uot;

As part of her management style, Cole said she encourages teachers to express their opinion. &uot;I really like that,&uot; she said. &uot;I like people speaking up and saying what they feel.&uot;

Cole was chosen Administrator of the Year by a district selection committee. Teachers at West have supported her through the process.

She has already entered paperwork to compete in the state’s administrator contest.

For one of her required letters of recommendation, the teachers at West Primary drafted a letter, and each one signed it.

&uot;It was really nice,&uot; Cole said.

Despite the length of her career, Cole isn’t sure when she’ll be ready to quit working.

&uot;I’ve just decided I’ll just take it as it comes,&uot; Cole said.