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Back to School: Stacey White plans to build community at West Middle

SALISBURY — If there’s one thing people know about Stacey White, it’s that she cares about her community.

“To say I’m passionate about our community is an understatement. I love the West Rowan community,” she said.

White, 45, is a Rowan County native, and has spent most of her life — and her career — in its western regions. So when the principalship at West Rowan Middle School opened up, White knew it was meant to be.

“I thought, you know, it’s kind of time,” she said.

White previously served as assistant principal of West Rowan High School, which is also where she got her start in teaching.

“Everything I’ve done has all been at West Rowan High School,” she said.

But she didn’t always want to be an educator.

“As an adult it was just by chance I got into it,” she said.

After graduating from South Rowan High School, White pursued a career in corporate America, and then became a full-time mom. Eventually, she returned to the workforce — this time as the guidance secretary at West Rowan High School. It was there she fell in love. After working support positions for a few years, White earned her teaching degree through Catawba College’s night program, and stepped into a classroom in January 2007.

She pursued her master’s in school administration from Gardner-Webb University after some encouragement from West Rowan Principal Dr. Jamie Durant, and later accepted a job at the high school.

As she takes the helm of West Rowan Middle, White said she plans to do some tweaking. She hopes to empower teachers and students to take their own data and use it to set personal goals and drive learning growth. She also wants to encourage teachers to lead some of the school’s professional development sessions.

“My whole philosophy is teachers driving the way to make improvements in their craft,” she said.

White said she wants to partner with parents, and encouraged them to come to her with any questions, concerns or ideas.

“My door is definitely open,” she said.

White also said that the success of the school will depend on community involvement, and she plans to work to create increased involvement.

“The community is the hub of educational success of kids,” she said.

White lives in the West Rowan area with her husband of 20 years, Tim. The couple has three children together.

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