Setting Excellence as a Standard
Puckett’s Mill Principal Michelle Farmer shares what it is like to work with our amazing Dacula students.
Dacula Patch recently spoke with Puckett’s Mill Elementary School Principal Michelle Farmer to learn more about what it is like to work with Dacula’s little high achievers.
Dacula Patch: What do you enjoy the most about being principal at Puckett’s Mill Elementary School?
Farmer: What is not to like about being in an elementary school on a daily basis? The kids are just amazing. They love school, they love their teachers, and they love learning.
Our teachers are also amazing. They work tirelessly to design learning opportunities that highly engage students and allows them to apply concepts at higher levels which help them to achieve at their highest potential.
And then there are our parents. They are incredibly supportive and true partners in the education of their children. They volunteer in and out of the classroom, and set high expectations for their own children.
Puckett’s Mill is a great place to be!
Dacula Patch: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Farmer: Being in the fourth year now at Puckett’s Mill, we are able to build on that solid educational foundation that we have established. We like to say and we believe that excellence is the standard at our school. Because of this, our students will continue to soar as they go on to middle school, high school, college, and their careers and beyond. Our vision is developing and empowering 21st century learners. We feel that we are doing this, and that our kids will be able to successfully compete in our global economy.
Dacula Patch: What are the biggest challenges you face?
Farmer: School is very different today. The rigor and expectations for our kids, stating even in kindergarten is much higher. The challenge is balancing what we know we need to do academically so they can be successful, while realizing that they are still so young. We try to find the fun and joy in learning. We are finding the balance of what we need to do socially, emotionally and academically.
Dacula Patch: What are your personal goals and/or missions for the year?
Farmer: Mr. Wilbanks (Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent) says there are only two roles in Gwinnett County Public Schools. There are those who teach, and those who support those who teach. My role is in direct support of those who teach. So my goal is to make sure our teachers have everything they need so that they can do what they need to do in the classroom. I believe by increasing the teacher’s instructional capacity, it increases our children’s opportunities to learn.
Our school goal this year is to continue curricular achievement in all academic areas. We are doing this by increasing rigor, and opportunities for authentic engagement in the classroom. We are helping students understand that learning is thinking and doing. We encourage them to take ownership of their own learning.
Dacula Patch: What are some of the accomplishments that you are most proud of as the Principal of Puckett’s Mill?
Farmer: In academic achievement, Puckett’s Mill earned the bronze award it’s first year. And in the second year we earned the gold award for high levels of student achievement by the sate. If our figures come out right for this year, we have the potential to earn the gold and maybe even the platinum award. We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve academically.
Our teachers and staff have earned many awards such as reading teacher of year, and other awards at that level.
We have students who have done amazing things too. Our Odyssey of the Mind team did well at the state and world level. We also have a Robotics teams that has gone on and placed at the state level.
In addition, we tied for second in the state for meets and exceeds in the writing level for our fifth graders.
It really is rewarding to see that when we have a clear focus and vision for our teachers and students, we can do amazing things. And I think that in the future, we will continue to do amazing things all based on that solid educational foundation that we have created.
Dacula Patch: What do you love most about Dacula, and the area surrounding Puckett’s Mill Elementary School?
Farmer: Dacula functions as a small town even though it is not. I love that everyone knows each other, and supports each other like a small town would. It is a growing area that has so much to offer our Puckett’s Mill families.