LAGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) — October is National Principals Month. In observance of this, here is an article about Shannah Mabry, the principal of Clearview Elementary School in LaGrange.

Mabry said it’s “imperative” to have high expectations for students and support them with unconditional love. These represent the type of principal she aims to be.

“And so, the work we do together each day as educators forever impacts children, and that’s a very powerful thing,” she said. “… And I believe that together — our staff, students, families and community — that we can provide an education that empowers our students to aim high, achieve and have strong core values and attain greatness.”

Mabry said she aims to facilitate a firm understanding of Clearview Elementary’s values, which she said are connection, equity, achievement, resilience, integrity and compassion.

Her favorite thing about her job is seeing excitement on a child’s face after they have mastered a concept. She recalled her favorite moment this year. Each morning, she works with her school’s car rider team to help students out of their cars. One morning around 7:10 a.m., an apparently excited student getting out of a car told Mabry, “Ms. Mabry, I met my goal.”

“And that is my favorite part of the job, having those conversations, because it means… when a child tells you that, it means that we have empowered them to know their own goals and have equipped them for the next step, and we have taught them and supported them and coached them in reaching those goals,” Mabry said.

Mabry wishes people knew how rewarding it feels to be a principal. She said how she feels about it can’t be explained in words but attempted to describe it, anyway, by comparing it to seeing a big puzzle being put together. The results are improvement and student success.

Her favorite things about Clearview Elementary are the students, staff and students’ families. While she thinks the school building is beautiful, she thinks the people inside it are even more beautiful.

“At Clearview, we are better together,” she said. “And we say this all the time, and we’re unstoppable. And all of us together, students and staff, know where we’re going and what our next steps are to get there, and I’m just proud to be a part of Clearview.”

While this is Mabry’s first year as the principal of Clearview Elementary School, this is her 16th year working in education.

“I’ve had many experiences in education,” she said. “I’ve been a middle school teacher, I’ve been a middle school instructional coach. I’ve been a pre-K through 12 district instructional specialist. I’ve been an elementary instructional specialist.”

Mabry said that before her current role, she was the assistant principal at West Point Elementary School for five years.

“[T]hrough the journey that I’ve been traveling, not once did I have a predetermined certain position that I wanted to have,” she said.

Mabry said she has always sought to serve others where she felt called to do so and that this led her to Clearview Elementary.

“I’m proud to serve here alongside the amazing staff that we have, our students, our families and our community,” she said

Mabry is a product of the Harris County School District. However, she said that she’s a product of the Troup County School District in that she has worked with great leaders there.