Geraldine High School named Jason Mayfield as its interim principal on Tuesday.
Mayfield worked previously at the DeKalb County Schools’ central office as the chief of staff. He worked alongside Superintendent Jason Barnett and served on his executive staff along with two others. He worked to “support the growth and evaluation of [the system’s] principals.” Mayfield replaces Steve Street who served previously as principal at Geraldine High School. Street was transferred to a supervisor position for the school system on Tuesday.
Board member Mark Richards said Thursday the board felt it was time for “new leadership,” and that Mayfield had been working with Barnett on a plan for the next year. He said Street would continue to assist Mayfield during the transition.
Mayfield said the school system has been talking about making improvements to all its schools. He also serves as the federal programs director for the school system. He said he works closely with the school improvement process for the district as a whole, and he coordinates English classes for students who speak English as a second language.
“The district mission that we adopted earlier this year is, ‘Expecting more today, and educating for tomorrow,’” Mayfield said. “The focus is going to be raising expectations for our students, our teachers and the community, in general. Basically, we hope to work to enhance the expectations for every child, teacher and every family, and we hope to do that every day.”
There’s a brochure he has for the school outlining his vision moving forward. He said he wants to achieve greatness and raise all standards for students and teachers. He also wants to empower his community to help them become engaged in their school.
He’s got three “critical messages all adults share with all students.”
“Each day, every adult in the building hopes to share, not just by words, that what we’re doing here is important,” he said. “This school is intended to be a bridge to a bright, successful future. Second, you can do it. We want to make sure our students understand that.
“The third critical message is that I’m not going to give up on you, even if you give up. If a child or student has difficult circumstances, we’re never going to give up on our students.”
Mayfield is a graduate of Geraldine High School class of 1994. He has three children, all of which go to Geraldine, too. He’s got one child in elementary school and two more in high school. Prior to working for DeKalb County, he taught in the Oxford City Schools and Talladega County Schools’ system. He taught English, history and was an assistant basketball coach.
In DeKalb County, Mayfield served as a counselor at Collinsville and then principal at Ruhama. He said he moved to the central office as a “school improvement specialist,” and he said he was able to building an “outstanding staff at Ruhama.”
The Mayfield name is known in the Geraldine community. He said his father served as elementary school principal when he was in fourth grade. He said Jimmy Mayfield served for more than a decade as principal in Geraldine.
He’s looking forward to beginning the year at Geraldine. He said this year the school will partner with the Southern Region Education Board, and math teachers will be provided new training within the Mathematics Design Collaborative to help students further grasp the college and career readiness standards they’ve been taught. He said English, social studies and science teachers will be provided Literacy Design Collaborative training, as well.
It’s all about working together to improve the school and better understand what will be expected from students after graduation.
“We want to empower the community and have a well developed family engagement program,” Mayfield said. “We want a process-driven faculty and staff so we can fulfill the needs of students so they are college and career ready.”