By Barry H. Hendrix
Ashley Allen has been chosen as the new principal of Thomasville Middle School.
The Thomasville City Board of Education approved the hiring April 28 in a meeting in the Thomasville High School Library.
He has served in the last two school years as assistant principal at THS.
“My reaction to being chosen as the next principal of the Thomasville Middle School can’t be summed up with just one word,” Allen said. “I’m elated and very excited about being the new principal of the middle school and being so at such a great time. Yes, we are dealing with unprecedented and unpredictable times, but we, as Thomasvillians, can be excited about the reopening of our beloved middle school.
“I hope to bring a new style of strong, consistent, compassionate and creative approach to leadership. I plan to be an effective leader by changing the “I” statements into “WE” statements. I plan to initiate this by collaborating with community stakeholders, teachers, parents and students to ensure that “WE” are all a part of this wonderful opportunity to make our Thomasville Middle School one of the best learning environments in the state of Alabama.
“I can’t express how I have enjoyed serving as your assistant principal and athletic director at the high school for the last two years,” Allen said. “The teachers, students, parents and the community as a whole, have been very supportive and respectful during this journey. I pray that our relationships continue to build and become even stronger as we strive to remain on one accord to do the best for our children of this community.
“I was a child of this community, and I hope that my deeply rooted history in Thomasville can help us come together to build a united front against the world’s distractions and other adversaries that attack the educational process. In my opinion, this is the only way that “WE” can protect and provide our students with the tools needed to be successful.
“It is my prayer that everyone stays safe and takes care of each other during these trying times,” he said. “Patience will be the key, and I can’t wait to join you, the great community of Thomasville, as “WE” move forward to greater things to come for our school system.”
Allen was raised by grandparents Henry and Esmeraldo Smiley. His father, Reginald Allen, was born and raised in Thomasville and currently resides in Tampa, Fla.
A graduate of THS, he comes from a family of educators. His late mother, Coilet Smiley, was an educator, and his grandmother Esmeraldo was an educator at Clarke County High School for 32 years.
His grandfather, Henry Smiley, was a former head of the Thomasville school board, a coach, and principal at Coffeeville High School. He retired from the McMillian Blodel paper mill in Yellow Bluff.
Alberta (Smiley) Dixon, the current Thomasville City Mayor Pro-Tem and a former educator, is Allen’s grand-aunt. Allen is the cousin of Charles Allen, a long time member of the Thomasville City Council.
Allen and his wife, Bridgett, have a daughter, Raven-Rose Coilet Allen, age 4. Bridgett Allen works in human resources at GD Copper.