Home sweet school: Hinson to lead Ferriday

Published 12:03 am Thursday, August 4, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Bobbie Hinson will begin a new school year at Ferriday Lower Elementary School with a new job — principal. Before becoming FLE’s principal, Hinson worked as the school’s third-grade Project Read teacher, reading excellence coordinator and vice principal.

FERRIDAY — Bobbie Hinson isn’t new to Ferriday Lower Elementary School, and neither are her hopes and dreams for the students.

But with a new office and a new title, Hinson is ready to try new things to improve student achievement.

Hinson, who was appointed principal this summer after the retirement of Sheila Alwood, has worked at FLE as the third-grade Project Read teacher, reading excellence coordinator and vice principal since 1997.

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“It is great to be principal at FLE,” she said. “I want to work closely with the faculty, staff, parents, students and community to create a sense of family in this school.”

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Ferriday Lower Elementary School’s newly appointed principal Bobbie Hinson does office work Wednesday afternoon.

Hinson said creating a family atmosphere at FLE will be a great asset to the students.

“As a family, we will do what must be done to meet the needs of our students,” she said. “I believe that if you have high expectations for students, they can and will rise to the occasion.”

As principal, Hinson said she will play a major role in planning and supporting instruction that is appropriate for her students.

“Our focus will be on student achievement,” she said. “We will use collaborative planning time to look at test scores and other data to see what it says about students’ learning, and continue to use the information to help teachers set goals and improve instruction.”

Hinson said teachers play a key role in the success of students, and the teachers at FLE are more than capable of providing quality education.

“I don’t think there are teachers anywhere that work harder for student achievement than the teachers right her at FLE,” she said.

Hinson said her goal is to spend time in the classrooms, with new assistant principal Arlana Davis, observing teachers to help find strengths and offer suggestions.

Hinson said the school is even going to be offering reading and math help to students who are having difficulties in the subjects.

“We have grown greatly in reading and math, but those are still areas of concern,” she said.

Hinson said she will also stress collaboration among the teachers.

“We have always had a good working relationship with each other at FLE,” she said. “Now we are trying to come together to find out what has worked for one teacher that we can use in other classrooms.”

Hinson said she also implemented some schedule changes for teachers to help FLE second graders prepare for the Integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program test.

Hinson said she knows her students can continue to improve their scores, but it will take a lot of work from her and her staff.

“Our babies require a lot of attention and a lot of hugs, and we are just happy to render them that,” she said. “These are all wonderful, loving children, and I just would say we are very proud of all of our students.”

Even with great students, Hinson said it is going to take parental involvement to get students to their full potential.

“The school belongs to the parents, and I firmly believe that it takes a whole village to raise a child,” she said. “We have good parental involvement, but good isn’t excellent, and our goal is to have 100 percent in all Ferriday schools.

Hinson wanted to thank all those that gave her the opportunity to be principal at FLE, and said she will strive to make the school the best it can be.

“I want FLE to be a welcoming school for all students, their families and all other stakeholders, because a great school is one where students feel safe and know they will be treated fairly,” she said. “I want to continue to work with the students, parents, teachers and central office to make FLE one of, if not the best school in Concordia Parish.”