Fyffe named first principal at early college
By William F. West
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Pasquotank County High School's principal has been tapped as the principal at the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools’ first early college high school.
Amy Fyffe said Wednesday she received a call from district Superintendent Larry Cartner Monday evening informing her of the news. In fact, when Cartner called her, he asked if he was speaking to the “new principal of the early college,” Fyffe said.
Fyffe says she told Cartner, “Well, I should hope so.”
Fyffe said in an interview Wednesday she’s excited about her new job as principal at the district’s early college.
“It was something that was offered and I thought that it would be a really great opportunity,” she said. “I've never opened a school before — brand new — from the very ground up. And, so I thought that would be a really great addition to my career.”
The new school is set to open in August at College of The Albemarle's main campus in Elizabeth City. Its first class is scheduled to include 40-50 ninth-graders. Other high school grades will be added later on.
Students selected to attend the early college will be able to work toward either an associate’s degree or two years of transferable college credits at the same time they’re earning a high school diploma.
School district officials said Wednesday that Fyffe will report to work Monday and work in an office at COA. Her annual salary will remain $70,572.
“We are pleased to announce Mrs. Fyffe’s appointment as principal of our early college,” Cartner said in a press release. “She has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities throughout her career and is very passionate in her efforts to ensure all students are successful. Mrs. Fyffe will be an excellent leader for our early college; her experience and expertise in education will be a tremendous strength for establishing the high school.”
Fyffe said Wednesday she believes her 32 years as an educator had a lot to do with her being chosen as the first principal at the early college.
“I think that having experience in the high school, as an administrator, as a teacher in the classroom, and having at least some variety of place is also helpful,” she said.
Fyffe holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Hawaii and a master’s degree in school administration from East Carolina University. She has teaching certifications in English, academically intellectually gifted, and as a curriculum instructional specialist, according to the school district.
Fyffe has been the principal at Pasquotank County High School since 2008 but has worked for the school district since 1996.
Her previous jobs with the district were as an English teacher and an assistant principal at Northeastern High School. Prior to coming to the district, she worked as an educator with Virginia Beach Public Schools.
Fyffe was named Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools’ Principal of the Year twice — once in 2011 and again in 2016. Though proud of both awards, she doesn't believe they were factors in her being chosen to head the early college.
“I feel like if you do your job and do it well and just kind of keep your nose to the grindstone, that good things will eventually come your way — and that when you have the opportunities, you should act on them,” she said.
Discussing her time at Pasquotank High School on Wednesday, Fyffe said she's proud of the job she’s done at the school. The year before she was hired to take charge, Pasquotank’s graduation rate was only 66 percent. The most recent data show the school has a graduation rate of 92 percent.
“We stopped saying that people could drop out, but we also worked on making it a student-centered school,” Fyffe said, explaining the turnaround.
She said her staff at Pasquotank had played a key role in helping guide the changes. She said they also make the school an amazing place to go work everyday.
“So I will miss them so very much,” she said.
Fyffe said cleaning out her office at the school on Tuesday was a “difficult” thing to do.
District officials said Wednesday that Pasquotank County High's assistant principals will be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the school until a new principal is named.