Our students and families at Terry W. Kitchen Central Junior High will see a new face in the main office this school year. We are happy to have Mrs. Halley Russell joining the leadership team at the junior high as the assistant principal. To help our students and their families get to know her a little better, take a moment to read the Q&A below.
Congratulations to you, Mrs. Russell! We are so excited to welcome you to our Tiger family! Welcome!
Q: What can you tell us about your career path that brought you to your current role?
A: Growing up, my father was in education and I saw how he enjoyed his job, even on the hard days. Graduating from high school I came to Southeast Missouri State University with a double major - Criminal Justice and Secondary Education Social Studies. I either wanted to be a Social Studies Teacher or a Secret Service Agent. You can see which one won out. Graduating from SEMO, I was hired at Jackson Sr. High School and taught History and Government there for fourteen years before receiving the opportunity to become a Tiger and work at Terry W. Kitchen Jr. High School.
Q: What or who inspired you to become an educator?
A: My parents inspired me to become an educator. My mom wasn’t in the classroom, but she was constantly teaching people: Kids Khoir, Parks & Recreation, Sunday School, etc. My father was an industrial arts teacher, and later on in his career he served as an Administrator and Superintendent. They showed me how to love and help people. Through it all, my parents have always pushed me to dream big and do what I love.
Q: Describe your leadership style.
A: Servant Leadership - 100%. I never want someone (students, parents, or staff) to believe that I’m asking them to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.
Q: What do you love most about Cape Girardeau Public Schools?
A: Cape Girardeau Public Schools has a welcoming attitude and contagious environment. During my transition to CGPS, I haven’t met a person who hasn’t been excited about my new journey. I’ve been greeted with smiles and hugs. I can’t wait to meet all of the students! I see the Black and Orange and Tigers everywhere!
Q: What are your hobbies away from school?
A: In my free time, I love to do things with my family (husband Jamie and three kids: Ellie, JJ, and Theo). We can often be found at school or church events. If I get free time for just me, I typically can be found reading or shopping.
Q: One last question. Would you share a favorite quote of yours?
A: "Remember who you are, where you’re from, and what you stand for; if you do those three things then you will never wander."