Administrator Lightsey makes connections with students, faculty

Noah Lenkin, Staff Writer

Jackie Lightsey is the senior administrator and has been teaching in the county for 14 years. Lightsey said, “I taught English at Wootton for 10 years, and I spent three of those years as the head of the English Department.

When Principal Dr. Michael Doran died in 2015, Lightsey stepped in to replace administrator Kimberly Boldon who would become the principal. Lightsey said, “I was asked to step into the administrative role for the year, and I ended up enjoying the role because I learned so much, and knew I wanted to learn more.”

Lightsey’s favorite part of school is the people. She said, “I enjoy the students, as it is really energizing to feel the sense of motivation from our students, and it is very inspiring to see the students working so hard.”

Lightsey decided to stay an administrator because she wanted to have more influence on students’ lives. Lightsey said, “Being an administrator allows me to see more than one part of a student’s life; I can give guidance to them and that is rewarding.”

Outside of school, Lightsey has many interests.“I really like to spend time with my family and dogs, as well as running and other forms of exercise. I also enjoy gardening and cooking for my family,” Lightsey said.

Lightsey enjoys positive results while working. “For me, it is very satisfying to see that our data around student achievement, common core literacy skills, and more students taking honors and AP has increased. Meeting the goals that we set is very fulfilling,” Lightsey said.

Administrators face daily challenges. Lightsey said, “My biggest challenge is trying to meet the needs of students, who have differing learning styles, as well as having issues outside of school that could prevent them from getting a strong education, which is my goal as an administrator.”

Administrators follow a class from year to year until they graduate. Lightsey said, “Junior year is the hardest year academically, but I would say adjusting to ninth grade is hard for some students because they find difficulty meeting the expectations set in high school, as well as making social adjustments.”

In most jobs, adults feel like they don’t have enough time. Lightsey said, “I would like to have more time, as there always seems to be enough work to do but never enough time.”

Joseph Mamana is the current freshman administrator. Mamana said, “Lightsey is a great co-worker, as she knows a lot of information about technology, the curriculum, and since she was head of the English department she knew how to run a grade. Lightsey also has great relationships with everyone in the building.”

Mamana also emphasized that Lightsey builds relationships with her seniors. He said, “Lightsey is very personable, like all of our administrators, and she has gotten to know the seniors’ families very well and become close to them.”

Jane Cocker is the sophomore administrator. She said, “Lightsey is very organized, hard working, calm, and has a very positive attitude.”

From students to faculty, Lightsey has been able to create long lasting relationships with other people around the building.