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He’s a familiar face in a familiar place, but now that Paul Terrell has been named as the full-time principal at Washington County High School, he says he feels great about leading WCHS into the future.
“It feels great,” he said. “It’s a little different now. For the past six or seven months, I have served as interim principal, and it’s been pretty good, things have gone OK. There may be some more responsibilities and maybe we can initiate some different things as we move forward. But I won’t change, I’ll still be the same guy I have always been for the last seven months, and I think the site-based council, who entrusted me to do this job, knows that I’ll be the same I’ve always been.”
Terrell is a native of Washington County and is a graduate of WCHS.
“It’s important for me, being a local person, to see our school move forward,” Terrell added. “Hopefully I can do some things along with my staff and teachers to make that happen. I want the school to be open to the public and have them involved. Students need a lot of help, and as the world changes, I want to bring more technology into the school. The more avenues we can use to grow these students, the better. It’s an exciting time, and I look forward to it.”
Terrell received his associate degree from St. Catharine College and continued at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education. His administrative credentials came from Eastern Kentucky University. This is his 21st year of serving Washington County schools. He taught special education for 13 years and then served as assistant principal for seven years. He was also the high school’s athletic director for three years.
“I have kind of served in all capacities leading up to this,” he said. “I think that gives you an appreciation for what the teachers are doing, what ADs are doing and what assistant principals are doing. I can see it all through their eyes and know what goes on there.”
What draws Terrell to Washington County High School is the fact that so much is happening to students as they mature from children into young adults.
“School is a place where kids grow not only academically, but grow socially, and we’re a large melting pot,” he added. “I think your four years of high school are the most important in your life because you come in as a 13-year-old and then you graduate at 18 with full rights to do what you need to do. Students can turn things around if they have problems and begin anew as they become adults.”
Dan Lockwood and Tim Messer will remain as assistant principals at WCHS. Terrell was quick to credit the school’s staff for their dedication.
“My co-administrators have really done a good job as far as supporting me. Each year, we do professional growth plans to target things we want to do to become better, and they have done an excellent job. We have an excellent staff and a great bunch of teachers who work hard every day.”
Terrell would like to see more Washington County graduates continue their education at St. Catharine College now that SCC is a four-year college.
Terrell said the main reason he is excited to be the new principal is that he enjoys working with the kids, and each day presents new challenges.
“School is something that is different every day,” he added. “I’ve always enjoyed being around students, and we have a broad group of kids who come from North (Washington Elementary) and from the middle school and St. Dominic, and those schools do a great job, and when we get them all together, they learn to be with each other every day by working to be responsible citizens. When students graduate from Washington County, I want them to look back and say that they received the best possible education so when they leave here and go whichever direction they go, they can say they got a good education and a good upbringing, and that they are ready for the next chapter.”