The Union Recorder


June 16, 2014

Writing a new chapter

Retiring Eagle Ridge principal reflects on career

MILLEDGEVILLE — After a 35-year career Jeanette Scott is turning the page.

"This is the end of a chapter in my life, but it's certainly not the complete end. It's time to experience new adventures and begin writing a new chapter," said Scott, retiring principal of Eagle Ridge Elementary School.

Scott made the decision to retire at the close of the 2013-2014 school year, bringing her chapter in education to a close.

She is in no rush to move into a new career, but is excited about the possibilities.

"I plan to take my retirement one day at a time and re-evaluate my life and see whether I want to work again in education or perhaps a new field altogether."

Her plans are to travel, do some sightseeing and re-discover talents she hasn't had the time to nurture.

Her journey in education began in 1979 at Carver Elementary School.

After receiving her bachelor of arts in middle grades education from Georgia College, Scott began the search for her first teaching position.

She was a sixth grade English and social studies teacher, which came as a surprise to her.

“I actually wanted to be a math teacher,” she said. “Before majoring in middle grades education I was a math major, but back then you couldn't be too picky about what you were given to teach, especially if you were a new teacher.”

She describes those first days as exciting and filled with anticipation as she awaited the adventures yet to come. In comparison, she says retirement is similar.

"It's a different kind of excitement and anticipation. I'm excited about relaxing but I'm also anticipating a new journey."

In 1988, Carver school closed down and faculty were given the choice to teach at Boddie Junior High School or Baldwin Middle School.

Scott chose to work at Baldwin Middle. She wanted to continue working with six grade students, and Boddie Junior High started at the seventh grade level.

In hindsight, the decision to go to Baldwin Middle prepared her for her role as an administrator.

Looking back, she says she can see how the experience pushed her to mature as an educator.

"At Carver, I was one of the younger teachers but at Baldwin Middle I was one of the tenure teachers, which forced me to take on more leadership roles," she said.

After teaching for several years, Scott discovered that she craved more in her profession and wanted to push forward in her career.

After receiving her master's and specialist degrees in leadership from Georgia College, she found herself in the new role as principal.

During her years as an administrator, Scott was privileged to be one of the first people in Eagle Ridge Elementary when the school opened in 2004.

The school was made up of faculty from both Davis Elementary and Southside Elementary.

She has served as principal throughout all 10 years of Eagle Ridge's history.

Because of her connection to the history of the school, leaving Eagle Ridge is especially hard, she said.  

"Retiring is like going on a solo adventure," she said. "I entered the doors of Eagle Ridge with faculty and staff, and we all were experiencing the school for the first time together, but as I leave, I'm walking out those doors alone."

Scott said she will miss just about everything at Eagle Ridge.

“There's no one thing I'll miss. Everything about it holds a special memory for me-especially the children,” she said.

From the faculty and staff to the building itself — Eagle Ridge Elementary will always be a part of her identity, even after this chapter ends.

“It will feel strange not preparing for another school year, and I'm sure my car could automatically drive itself to Eagle Ridge.”

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