Wednesday, April 28, 2010
After serving Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School as assistant principal for eight years, Terri Vandiver is now taking the first steps into her role as the school’s new principal.
“I started in the career tech business department, where I was department head and then assistant principal,” Vandiver said. “I always hoped getting more into administration was ahead for me, but I didn’t think it would happen as quickly as it did. I love it.”
A product of the career tech program herself, Vandiver said she’s a firm believer in its success and the success of a comprehensive high school in general. Learning the academic side of things was a new venture for her, but one she said she welcomed and one that provided her with an even deeper appreciation for her new role.
“Attending a comprehensive high school really is an awesome thing for students to experience,” Vandiver explained. “Learning the academic side and how to integrate it with career tech really makes me appreciate them both and has given me a better view of how they work together.”
As she begins the new administration, Vandiver looks forward to getting to know the students better and has set a goal for herself to be known as an approachable principal. She’s also setting her sights on continuing to improve the school’s already accelerating graduation rate.
“We have a very good graduation coach that keeps a close watch on kids that might be at risk for dropping out,” Vandiver said. “We’ve already cut that number in half and one of my big goals is to touch base with every student we think we might be losing and help them find a sense of belonging so that they feel more inclined to stay.”
• She grew up in Catoosa County and graduated from LFO in 1978.
• Her brother, sister and all her children attended LFO.
• In 1978, Vandiver was named Miss LFO, and in 2007 her son was named Mr. LFO.
• She enjoys taking cruises with her husband and says her kids are her life.
Vandiver added that with the school’s current dedicated faculty there’s no limit to what they will be able to accomplish by pulling together in the coming years.
“I want to uplift our faculty and create a positive morale,” she said. “We can bring LFO back up to the icon in the area that it was when I was here (as a student).”
The school building itself is currently undergoing some renovations that Vandiver said will have the community excited and impressed.
“We welcome anyone and anything we can do for the community and invite the community to come and work with us,” she said. “We’re doing all that we can to increase that relationship.”