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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Jacobson jumps into new career

FRI. | 06-11-21 | NEWS

SAT. | 10-10-20 | NEWS

     After eight years as principal, Monica Jacobson will be transitioning from principal of Rose at the end of the school year. Jacobson will be moving over to Pitt County Schools (PCS) County Office under the title Director of Secondary Education. As Director of Secondary Education, her role in the County Office will largely consist of communicating with the administrators of PCS middle and high schools, specifically with a focus on instructional programming. Beginning Thursday, Jul. 1, current E.B. Aycock principal Daryl Thomas will be the new principal at Rose.

     “I can continue to support not just Rose, but other secondary schools,” Jacobson said. “It just seemed a natural progression for me to continue not only my growth, but also for the growth of our schools.”

     Before taking on the role of principal in 2012, Jacobson taught in Mecklenburg County as a social studies teacher and then moved to Rose to teach in the social studies department for three years. After deciding to pursue an administrative path, she served as an assistant principal at Rose and held the role of both assistant principal and principal at G.R. Whitfield before returning to Rose as principal. 

     “I always knew I had a passion for working with people in

Jacobson photo.jpg

Photo by Murphy Fisher

general; I was out in the business world, actually, before I decided that teaching was the direction I wanted to go with,” Jacobson said. 

     In her 12 years serving Rose as both teacher and principal, Jacobson feels grateful that the students and staff have contributed to making Rose an environment conducive to growth and development. 

     “I’ve always worked with, in every school I’ve been with, a dynamic group of people, and Rose has just been my home for so many years,” Jacobson said. “It’s just a family atmosphere that as a teacher, I was quickly embraced by my department and my department chair.”

     However, Jacobson is also glad that her new role will allow her to still interact with students and staff at Rose. In this manner, Jacobson feels she will still be connected to the students by providing guidance to administrators and staff who, in turn, support the students. 

     “The beauty of my new position is that I am serving the middle and high schools, so I will be able to visit,” Jacobson said. “I am definitely going to miss the people though: the students and the staff.”

     In her time at Rose, Jacobson has aimed to focus on two qualities: building relationships and building leadership. Although Rose is a very large school and she is not able to connect one-on-one with all 1,400 students, Jacobson feels she has made an effort to lay the foundation so that others can make those connections in order to build the family atmosphere she experienced when she first came to Rose. Jacobson has also tried to develop the quality of leadership in her tenure. 

     “When I say leadership, I’m not just talking about within our school administration with our assistant principals, but with our teacher leadership and student leadership,” Jacobson said. “I really feel like our students understand that they can be leaders and they can advocate for systems and processes they feel can work for our school.”

     In pushing for leadership within Rose, Jacobson has always placed the needs of students foremost in making decisions focused on student growth. 

     “When [the administration] recognizes that there is a better way to serve our students, we are willing to make that transition,” Jacobson said. “Staff leadership has tried to make it a point that whenever we make a decision, our students are first in the decision making process.”

     Although Jacobson has served as principal, she largely sees the staff as her colleagues. She sees this as a way to again emphasize the value of relationships within the school. In leaving Rose and entering into her new position, Jacobson feels the best way to support her is to in turn support Thomas in his transition. 

     “[The way to help] me be able to do my new job as Director of Secondary Education is to support our administrators in our middle and high schools, and so in supporting him as he transitions, is how to best support me,” Jacobson said. 

     The Rose community is very grateful for the impact Jacobson has made in developing Rose's environment in order to cater to all students regardless of their needs. In hopes to inspire students to continue to similarly focus on relationship and leadership, Jacobson leaves with a few words of advice and encouragement. 

     “Find your voice and use your voice,” Jacobson said. “We want to build leaders in you guys, too, and we are there to advocate for you, but we are also preparing you for life beyond high school and we want you to advocate for yourselves as well.”

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