Back to School: Shoffner wants to build community at Enochville
ENOCHVILLE — Kelly Shoffner didn’t always want to be a teacher. The daughter of two teachers in New York, Shoffner said she was always aware of the field’s unique challenges. But when she decided to dip her toes in the water, Shoffner found she had a knack for connecting to students, and she fell in love with the classroom.
“The relations with the kids became my draw,” she said.
This year Shoffner said she hopes to bring that ability to build relationships to Enochville Elementary School.
Shoffner was named principal of Enochville in April, after previous principal Kelly Street took a position with the Rowan-Salisbury Schools district office.
While Enochville has always had close ties with the community, staff told Shoffner that community and parent involvement have waned in recent years. It’s Shoffner’s goal to restore those bonds, and to strengthen those of her staff.
“They know that they feel like a family, but they want to become even closer,” she said of Enochville teachers.
Shoffner said it’s part of her personality to do things differently and to question how things have always been done. When she found out that Rowan-Salisbury Schools was becoming the state’s first renewal district, she knew she’d come to the right place.
“I kind of feel like I’ve been put here for a reason,” she said.
The school’s staff are also eager to try new things and help create a warm, home-like environment for children.
“There’s this desire here to really care and reach out to students,” she said of the school’s staff.
Enochville Elementary will roll out a Multi-Tiered Support System strategy this school year, which helps students work through issues and trauma. Shoffner said she also plans to meet with students and families to learn the community’s needs — from there, she and staff will work to develop a vision for the school. Above all, she wants people to be involved.
“I want parents and the community to come in and advocate and to communicate,” she said.
Shoffner previously served as an assistant principal in Iredell-Statesville Schools. She earned her undergraduate degree from Buffalo State University in New York, and her master’s degree from Appalachian State University.
She lives in Statesville with her husband of 13 years, Kent; the couple has two children together.