‘Bear’ becomes ‘Falcon’

Published 10:44 am Monday, August 8, 2011

WINDSOR – Bertie High School has a new principal.

Carson Watford, currently the principal of Hertford County Middle School, was named to the post Tuesday.

The 20-year veteran educator has been principal of HCMS for five years and has been an educational administrator for more than 10 years.

“You always watch your neighbor,” Watford said of Bertie County Schools. “Bertie seems very specific and driven about educational opportunities for students. They have been able to move out of low performing status.

“The specificity of how they work detail by detail to work on student performance was a very attractive factor for me,” he added.

Watford began his career as a teacher in the Prince George (Md.) Public Schools before moving on to Bertie County Schools in 1982.

He then worked in Hertford County as an In-School Suspension Coordinator and teacher until 1998 when he was named Assistant Principal at Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City.

After one year in Elizabeth City, Watford was named Assistant Principal at Hertford County High School. Two years later, he was named Director of the Alternative School in Tyrrell County.

He returned to Hertford County as Interim Principal at Hertford County High School in 2003 and then served as an Assistant Principal at HCHS and HCMS before being named to his current position in 2006.

At Bertie High, Watford inherits a school that met Adequate Yearly Progress this past year. He said he looks forward to working to make the school even better.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “Seemingly, many of the schools I have been at have started at the same level in not meeting growth. It is always exciting to try to turn that around.

“It’s exciting to come to a school and see what I can do to move it to an even stronger footing,” Watford added. “My challenge is to help Bertie achieve even more than in the past.”

Watford said he was aware of the work that had been done at Bertie and felt like it was his task to take a good school and make it better.

“As an old administrator, you live to see schools get better,” he said. “I know the strong work that has been done there, especially by (now retired principal) Glenwood Mitchell.

“I will look at what is working and what needs to be improved and try to find the perfect idea to take them from the point they are now to a higher level of performance,” Watford stressed. “I’ve been studying them from afar already, so I have a few ideas.”

In addition to his regular teaching duties, Watford has served as Science Department Chair, a member of the Teacher Advisory Council and as a basketball and football coach.

He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Intermediate Education with an emphasis in Science and History from Elizabeth City State University in 1981. Since that time he earned Certification in Administration and Supervision from East Carolina University and graduated Suma Cum Ladue from Norfolk State University with a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision.

A timetable for Watford’s new role at Bertie will be set by the Hertford County Board of Education. He will begin at Bertie shortly after Hertford County grants his release.