Mr. Molden is sitting in his new office at Quitman High School. He smiles then laughs as he reminisces about a time almost twenty-three years ago when he landed his first administrator job in a school outside of Atlanta, GA.
“I went from being a teacher at an elementary school where I had fourth and fifth graders in a classroom all day to being an assistant principal at a high school where 1,500 – 2,000 kids were roaming. You might think it was out of order if you visited that high school, but it was orderly. Everyone knew what to do.”
Quitman High School’s new principal officially begins performing his administrative duties today, but he has already been attending meetings, listening as Dr. Savage described the job to him and touring the school as well as some of the Panther Nation community. He was eager to get to work at a school which reminds him of that one outside of Atlanta.
“Just from being here this short period of time – riding around, talking and meeting with some people – I think this is a great place. It’s exactly three hours between where my wife’s mom lives and where my mom lives. Rockdale was a great place to be. The people were great. They treated you great, and the kids were outstanding. Of course it was a high school and kids are kids. I told my wife that I have a feeling that this place is like Rockdale. We know we have something to do. We know what we have to get done. We know who is important – the children. That’s who we are going to focus on.”
Again, Molden smiles.
“There’s nothing like being a principal when you don’t have to be Joe Clark from the time you walk into the building until the time you walk out and even on Sundays. I tell people I’ve been to places where you have to be Joe Clark on Sundays. You walk in church and you still have to have that look on your face. This is a place where kids can tell if I’m having a bad day or not. That’s a good place.”
Molden is confident that he has found a school similar to the one he remembers with such affection, and his years of experience have taught him how to appreciate such a treasure. Not only are we happy to have him here, but he is genuinely excited about getting to work in Panther Nation. He explains,
“I went to college when I was 27 years old and married with two kids. I graduated in four years while I was working at the brickyard. I was going to get a degree in biology at Clark Atlanta University, go across the street to Morehouse Medical School and become an emergency room doctor, but the Dean of the Education Department at Clark, Dr. Orra Cooks, would see me walk across campus everyday. One day she pulled me to the side and asked, ‘What are you doing? What is your major?’ She listened and then asked me to listen. So I listened. Then I started going to the education department, started taking some classes and visiting schools. I fell in love with it. I realized how important it was for someone like me to take the opportunity to teach children and be an example. They need to see someone like me helping them to get through to become like I am or better than me. I tell them, you don’t have to be a principal. You can become whatever you want to become. It’s about if you want it or not. If you want it bad enough, you can get it. If you can get in a career that you really, really love, you don’t have to be the smartest, or the one who has all the information. Nobody has all the information anyway. If you love what you do everyday, you’re going to be great at it. You got to be the person you want everybody else to be.”
Today is the first day of online registration for the 2020 – 2021 school year. Do you want to register your child for an education at Quitman Lower Elementary, Quitman Upper Elementary, Quitman Junior High, or Quitman High School? If so, click HERE.