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CALLED TO LEAD BY ASHLEY KEEGAN LEADERSHIP IS DEFINED AS: “THE ACTION OF LEADING A GROUP OF PEOPLE OR AN ORGANIZATION.” BUT WHEN YOU PUT LEADERSHIP IN THE CONTEXT OF EDUCATION, THE WORD HOLDS MORE WEIGHT AND MORE RESPONSIBILITY. As educators, your mission each and every day is more than teaching a particular subject - you are also teaching students how to be good people and good citizens in the community. And this is largely a result of leading by example. Cedar Grove High School, located in Ellenwood, Georgia, and a part of the DeKalb County School District, is a school that exemplifies the impact of strong leadership. In a district where other schools have been added to Georgia’s Opportunity School District state-takeover list, Cedar Grove High School has managed to stay off the list. At the helm of the school is Principal 12 | KNOW • Volume 13 Issue 3 CALLED TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE Pamela Benford. Even faced with very real and at times overwhelming odds, Principal Benford is a consistent force in creating an atmosphere where her students can achieve. Many of the students at Cedar Grove High School are surprised to find out that Mrs. Benford has an office. A self-described “hallway principal,” she is an active presence in the school. And hallway walks prove this to be true. Walk down the halls with her, at any given time of the day, and it is guaranteed that there will be student interaction. Students don’t fear her - they want to talk with her, share with her, make her proud. And that pride goes both ways. Mrs. Benford walks through the school, pointing out students’ artwork and noting a door that has been decorated with notes about random acts of kindness. “The best part about the students is not that they are just good students - they are good people, they are very respectful. They are kind,” Mrs. Benford says, “They know there is a set of standards they need to abide by. What is inside of you matters as well.” The emphasis on steering students away from bullying others is evident. Anti-bullying campaign posters line the walls, always a constant reminder to respect others. And it


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