CARROLLTON -- At Carroll Academy, students are seeing a familiar face in a new position.
Penny Mitchell, who has served the last six years as the high school principal and guidance counselor, was named headmaster, a position vacated when Bo Milton stepped down to coach football and teach history.
Mitchell is no stranger to the area. Born and raised in Duck Hill, she said returned home to take care of her mother after working at Calhoun Academy as a basketball coach, science teacher and elementary physical education teacher.
“I worked at Kirk Academy, and then I came to Carroll Academy in 2013,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said her transition from guidance counselor to headmaster has been smooth one.
“As guidance counselor, I had to deal with administration some so I had an ideal of what to expect,” she said.
Mitchell said Milton has been helpful during her transition which took place the last two weeks of school in May.
“Anything that I’ve needed help with or that I don’t understand, he helps me with it,” Mitchell said.
She said when she was high school principal, she did the same for Milton. It was actually Milton who recommended Mitchell for the position.
“He recommended me to the board, and I talked with them and they decided on me,” she said.
Mitchell, who is certified in administration, said her felt her move to headmaster was meant to be.
“It was a God-thing,” she said. “He worked it out for me.”
With her many years at the school, Mitchell took the helm with established relationships with the students and teachers at Carroll Academy, something she feels has benefited her as a leader.
“It’s not someone new coming in,” she said. “Being that I was the guidance counselor, they know me and I know them. So, it’s good for both of us.”
She said her goal for this year is for the faculty and staff to “keep plunging” and become “prayer warriors” over the students.
“We’ve made improvements and a few upgrades over the summer,” she said.
The school received a grant from Entergy for LED lighting and upgraded the high school computer lab. The booster club made improvements to the football field, including buying a new fence.
“We’re just going to build on that and keep walking through it,” she said. “I want our teachers to keep working so our students can be the best that they can be.”
Mitchell said the faculty’s love for the students is what continues to make Carroll Academy successful.
“If you didn’t love teaching, you wouldn’t stay,” she said. “We have to keep teaching them academics, morals, and values so in the future, and they can do what they’re called to do.”