“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela
Traci Franklin Hosea, the new
assistant principal at Thomasville Elementary School, believes she has taken a
leadership role at the school at exactly the right time. Her years of
experience as a teacher and administrator have led her to this new role.
With the recent reorganization of the Thomasville City Schools District, fifth and sixth grade classes have returned to the TES campus. “There were a lot of parental concerns and challenges to face,” Hosea said, as those grades were reintroduced. “I have been able to communicate with parents and teachers to soothe their feelings in support of this change. …We have done such a great job with the administration and leadership here, making sure that everything has run smoothly.”
With her previous experience
working with pre-kindergarten to 12th grade students at Sweet Water High School, “it worked out that I was here when that (change) happened,” she said. It also fortunate that Hosea had already built great relationships at TES as the school’s media specialist. “Being here, I could not have been given a better opportunity. …It was all a great fit.”
A native of Sweet Water and 2001 graduate of Marengo High School, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa. Hosea would later earn her Master’s degree in library media and instructional leadership from the University of West Alabama in Livingston.
She has served as a seventh
grade reading teacher in Choctaw County High School and taught first grade at
Westside Elementary School in Demopolis. Hosea served as a third grade teacher,
librarian and guidance counselor in eight years at Sweet Water High School.
She came to TES in 2015 as
the librarian/media specialist.
Hosea took a sabbatical in
spring 2017 to participate in a principal
residency intern program, sponsored by the state Department of Education.
The shift in her career direction toward administration began when she served as guidance counselor at Sweet Water High School. “I became a resource for teachers, students and their families,” she said. With the multiple grades at Sweet Water, she gained valuable experience. She moved from dedicating herself to one classroom to meeting the needs of everyone on campus. “I knew at that moment that leadership was definitely my calling.”
As a guidance counselor at Sweet Water, she
guided parents as their children began their school career in kindergarten, and
she also helped students become productive citizens after high school
All of her roles as an educator in various schools have helped Hosea become “a powerful asset,” she said. “…I help people make the right choices with bringing their kids into school, and I also have also assisted families with preparing their kids for the next step in school.”
Every grade is different at TES. The College and Career Ready Standards begin early. It is a real challenge for administration and teachers. The principal and assistant principal can be pulled in many directions, “wearing multiple hats,” Hosea said. A new challenge this year at TES was the free “Breakfast in the Classroom. We were wearing aprons for two weeks.”
However, “it warms my heart to know that every child in this school starts their day with a nutritious meal,” Hosea said. “That is so wonderful.” She praised the work of the Child Nutrition Program staff, which has prepared breakfast for 625 students.
No matter what happens, Hosea has learned over her career to remain calm under pressure. As teacher, counselor, librarian and now assistant principal, she has learned to “bear everybody’s burden” and listen as others vent their frustration. “I just know how to take it all,” she said. “…I learn how to process it and keep it moving. …You have to be real personable, professional, and be supportive of people.
“My platform is that the educational process works for all of our students.” With so many moving parts at TES, “there is supervision from the time that bell rings at 7:20 until we get out of here in the afternoon. …We hit the ground running. We are always busy. …Overall, it’s very rewarding and I love every second of it.”
On a personal note, the move to bring the fifth and sixth grades back to TES has brought Hosea’s son Cameron (sixth grader) back to the elementary campus.
Along with Cameron, Hosea and her husband Vidal
have another son, Corey, a second grader at TES. Vidal works at the Georgia
Pacific Naheola Mill in Pennington, Ala.
“My children are actively involved in all sports,” she said. Both of her sons are currently playing city league football. “…I’m a busy momma.”
Since coming to work at TES, she appreciates the closeness of people in the community. “I love the family oriented school,” she said. “I love the community involvement. I love everything this place has to offer. I am very grateful of the new leadership (with new school superintendent Garth Moss). Mr. Moss has been very supportive of all the building leaders. …He’s very visible.” Hosea feels blessed, as a member of school administration, where she can help keep the standards high in the Thomasville system. “We want to have high expectations of our students. I want to be a part of continuing that.”
In her rare off-time, “I love to eat out, shop and spend time with family and friends.” If her duties at TES weren’t enough, she also serves as the choir director at Independent Missionary Baptist Church in Sweet Water. “I always have something to do,” Hosea said. “I don’t have a lot of down time.”