McKenzie already hard at work

Published 2:27 am Wednesday, June 21, 2006

By By ADAM PRESTRIDGE – For The Standard
New Rachel Patterson Elementary School principal Susan McKenzie is already busy at work preparing next year's schedule since being hired a week ago.
McKenzie, a Brewton resident who served as the Alabama Reading First Initiative coach at W.S. Neal Elementary School last year, was hired during a special called meeting of the Escambia County Board of Education last week where many employment changes were made.
Tuesday, the news still had not completely sunk in for McKenzie.
McKenzie fills the shoes of Beth Drew, who served as principal at Rachel Patterson for six years and was promoted to elementary supervisor with the BOE in late May. McKenzie said she looks forward to working with the wonderful teachers at Rachel Patterson, but knows Drew's shoes will be hard to fill.
Drew, who said she'll miss the day-to-day interaction with her students and faculty at Rachel Patterson the most, will still have the opportunity to work with the staff at Rachel Patterson in her new supervisory role. She is certain that McKenzie will do well in her new role and that the parents and community will be pleased with her work.
McKenzie said her main goals her first year at Rachel Patterson are to have continued success in the ARFI program, see another increase in reading scores and to see more gains in other assessments. In fact, she said Rachel Patterson's ARFI program was one thing that attracted her to the job.
McKenzie's overall goal is to ensure that all students are reading on their grade level and are ready for the transition to A.C. Moore.
As for immediate changes, McKenzie doesn't plan on making many.
McKenzie, who is a native of Monroe County, worked at W.S. Neal for eight years, where she not only served as the school's ARFI reading coach, but as a first- and second-grade teacher. Prior to W. S. Neal, she worked at Beatrice Elementary School for two years and Frisco City Elementary for five.
McKenzie received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education and elementary education from Auburn University at Montgomery. She later received her master's degree in elementary education from AUM and her administrative certification from Alabama State University.

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