This fall will mark Dr. LaEla Mitchell’s 23rd year as an educator. After more than two decades serving students, Dr. Mitchell will take the lead as principal of Simpson Middle School in July 2021. During her eight years in Cobb Schools, she has served as assistant principal at Pebblebrook and Hillgrove high schools. Dr. Mitchell also helped students as a Pebblebrook Academic Coach.
The veteran educator and Spelman College graduate plans to use her experience to help Simpson students look to school as a place where they can learn, grow, and be loved. She plans to continue building on the success of Simpson’s students and staff with the help of the community.
In the question and answer section below, learn more about Dr. Mitchell and what impresses her the most about Simpson Middle School and where school families may find her when she is not helping students succeed.
Question: Why are you excited to serve the Simpson Middle School community as principal and what impresses you the most?
Answer: “Serving the Simpson Middle School community is indeed an honor! Simpson has a reputation for great teachers, a supportive school community, and most importantly, incredible scholars. The opportunity to support such remarkable individuals has me over the moon excited and inspired to witness the great things we will do together.
I was quite impressed to learn that Simpson Middle School has earned their STEAM certification. To receive such recognition requires a high level of commitment to creative and collaborative thinking and a pledge to develop self-directed learners. This is no easy feat for a community to accomplish. Additionally, as one who is passionate about science and math education, I am particularly eager to support the continued progress of the Simpson Middle School STEAM program.”
Question: What can the school community expect to see under your leadership?
Answer: “I have always been one who is passionate about the power of community. I have witnessed firsthand, the fruit of a common vision and collective responsibility. My style of leadership is cooperative, with a communal focus on student needs. To meet that goal, the Simpson community should expect to see consistent communication and collaboration between all stakeholders.”
Question: What does student success look like to you?
Answer: “One of the things I value most about working with young people is the opportunity to fill their hearts with love and care. Everyone should experience what it feels like to learn, grow, and be loved. Schools have the honor and expectation of being that place for our students. Therefore, success is when students lean into that process of learning and growing because they know they are in a safe and loving place.”
Question: What do you like most about being an educator?
Answer: “What I absolutely love about being an educator is that moment when you can see the light bulb of understanding click on. We have all experienced that aha moment, but when you help someone, adults and children alike, get to that moment, it’s one of the best experiences in the world! There is so much value in learning, so when you witness something click, that moment is simply priceless.”
Question: Outside school, where might students, parents or staff members run into you?
Answer: “My favorite things to do are reading, crafting, and going out to eat! So, you may catch me with a handful of books at the bookstore, with a cart full of crafting supplies at Michael’s, or stuffing my face at a nice restaurant!”
Simpson Middle School is located at 3340 Trickum Road in Marietta/East Cobb 30066.