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Extraordinary Leader: Angela Polk-Jones

The High Point Schools Partnership had the privilege of sitting down and talking with Angela Polk-Jones, principal of The Middle College at GTCC – High Point. Ms. Polk-Jones comes from a single-parent home and grew up in the projects of Greensboro as the youngest of 7 children. As a result, she can relate to many of her students that come from similar backgrounds. The love and support from her mom and siblings empowered her to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro-UNCG to major in Elementary Education and minor in Childhood Development. However, academics was not Angela’s only focus because she also played basketball for the Spartans. In addition to going to the Final Four her junior year, she was a Kodak All-America player and held UNCG’s highest-scoring record for both men and women for numerous years. She is in three Hall- of- Fames and was selected as one of North Carolina’s Top 100 Female Athletes of All Time

Upon graduation from UNCG, Ms. Polk-Jones went on to teach and coach for eight years as a 4th Grade teacher at Millis Road Elementary and head girls’ basketball coach at Grimsley High School, her alma mater. For two and a half years she left GCS to become an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at UNCG but realizing where her passion was, Ms. Polk-Jones resumed her role as a teacher in GCS and spent the next five years as a Special Education teacher at Bluford Elementary School. She then returned to UNCG to begin her Master of School Administration before becoming an Assistant Principal at Eastern Guilford Middle School for two years. She was also the Assistant Principal at Aycock, now Swann, Middle School for four and a half years. From there, she was hired as the inaugural principal to start the MC at UNCG where she was principal for almost eight years and earned numerous accolades for the school, including the only high school in the country to earn a Gold Level recognition as one of America’s Best Urban Schools from the National Center for Urban Schools Transformation. Before taking over the helm of the MC at GTCC HP, she was principal at the Early College at Guilford for almost two years and is currently entering her 2nd year as principal of the Lions.

Ms. Polk-Jones encourages pride in her students with a focus on college, career, and life readiness. She believes in getting to know the stories of her students in order to help them see their full potential. She also believes in bringing all stakeholders together to give students real-world experiences by creating opportunities through shadowing, internships, and clubs; such as the Arts, Robotics, Writing, Career Exploration, Cultural Diversity, Fitness and so much more. Students get to choose what they want to participate in and the benefits go far beyond book knowledge.

The same success that Ms. Polk-Jones has experienced in athletics, is the same level of success she strives to instill in her students and staff as an educator. Winning is an attitude that Ms. Polk-Jones brings to the table whether she is on the court or in the classroom. It’s always “Game Time”!

Thank you Angela for sitting down and talking with us. We look forward to continuing to talk with and highlight different High Point principals and all the good going on at their school.