As a grade schooler, Kay Sanders figured out her life's work.
"Since I was in fifth grade, I knew this was something I wanted to do. Some people have a calling. Mine was school."
For the past 28 years, Sanders has enjoyed a career in education in the Thomson school district.
Now she's crossed county lines - accepting the position of principal at North Columbia Elementary School.
Having grown up in west Georgia, the Greenville native earned a bachelor's degree from Mercer University and Master's and specialist degrees from Augusta State University.
She most recently served as assistant principal and lead teacher at Norris Elementary School. She credits her principal, Bob Manning, for his guidance at the McDuffie County school.
"Through the years, I've done parts of what's needed to be done (in his position). He has allowed me to get the experience to do either job - from working on curriculum, scheduling, staff development, budget, buildings and grounds. Everything involved in running a school," she says.
While discipline is a major concern in today's school environment, society dictates paying special attention to its preservation, said Sanders.
"Today is different. It's a changed society. When I first started teaching, you dealt with children who were disrespectful or who were chewing gum. Since we're a rural school, we don't have the problems like the urban schools." Although disciplining students can be unpleasant, it's necessary, she said.
With husband of 32 years Dennis Sanders, who is District Attorney for the Toombs Circuit, the Sanders have two sons; Shane, a Mercer graduate and Reid, who attends the West Georgia University in Carrollton. Sanders is proud that both kids were educated in public schools.
Concerning her profession, Sanders said, "I can't think of anything that would be more rewarding. You won't necessarily get rich, but you'll be excited and happy. It's true. Teachers touch lives forever," she said.
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