Words by Anna Lee Vaughn | Images by Justin Hunter
Chelsea Byrd recently assumed the role of Assistant Principal at Jasper Junior High School, marking a significant milestone in her educational journey. Chelsea’s passion for teaching and natural leadership abilities have always driven her desire to be an educator.
Her journey with Jasper City Schools commenced in 2011 at T.R. Simmons Elementary School. She later transitioned to Maddox Intermediate School, where she started out teaching fourth grade and later took on the role of the school’s Instructional Coach.
Throughout this period, Chelsea diligently pursued her master’s degree in Instructional Leadership at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Her long-standing aspiration was to move into an administrative role, primarily focusing on the elementary age group. However, an unexpected opportunity emerged with Jasper Junior High, a change of plan that Chelsea readily embraced.
Reflecting on this shift in her career, Chelsea remarks, “I always thought that my first admin job or job outside of the classroom would be at the elementary level, and I never even looked at a secondary position. But God’s plans are way different than ours. This opportunity unfolded a few months ago, and it seemed almost too good to be true. An admin job doesn’t usually open in the beginning or middle of the year. So, I was intrigued by the opportunity to come to Jasper Junior High. And I have not looked back one time since!”
Chelsea expresses her gratitude for the warm welcome she received at the school and her excitement at reconnecting with students she had taught in previous years. She eagerly anticipates implementing the school’s new diagnostic data system, ‘i-Ready,’ which will provide individual learners with personalized education plans tailored to their specific needs. Furthermore, Chelsea intends to actively engage with various school clubs, including Girl Strong, Honor Society, Beta Club, and Junior Ambassadors.
“We are so blessed in Jasper City to have so much support from our central office and Board of Education. This community really pours into its students. I’m so thankful for our principal, Lutis Moore, and our staff who have made me feel so welcome,” she says.
“It was bittersweet to leave Maddox, but the experiences and relationships I had there are part of who I am as an educator and leader. I owe so much to them. Now, I’m ready to get into some classrooms, build deeper relationships with these teachers, and continue to build relationships with these students. I love my Jasper Vikings, and I’m just thankful to be here for the opportunity to continue my career in different steps with Jasper City!” WL