Services are Thursday for longtime Vineville Academy principal

jmink@macon.comMay 12, 2014 

Services are Thursday for longtime Vineville Academy principal

Former Bibb County school Superintendent Sharon Patterson remembers attending a leadership meeting, during which Paulette Winters launched into a rendition of “New York, New York.”

“You thought you were in New York yourself just watching her on stage,” Patterson recalled.

That talent, combined with her leadership abilities and passion for education, made Winters the perfect candidate to help launch Bibb County’s magnet school for fine arts, Patterson said. Winters, 59, the longtime principal of Vineville Academy in Macon, died Sunday.

Winters led the magnet school -- Bibb County’s first such program for elementary school students -- for years.

She was also a tireless champion of the arts, noted in part by her receiving a 2003 Cultural Award.

With a passion for theater and a top-notch singing voice, Winters was the best person to help bring the fine arts school to life, Patterson said.

“She was a performer herself who loved the arts, ... and she made sure young children had exciting opportunities for performance and an appreciation for the arts,” Patterson said. “She sowed seeds, and those seeds were strong.”

Winters taught at the former Weir Elementary School from 1976 to 1998 before becoming assistant principal at Morgan Elementary School until 2001. She took over in July 2001 as principal of the former Clisby Elementary School, which became Vineville Academy of the Arts in 2002. She retired from the position on Nov. 30, 2013, according to the school system.

“She has been able to touch a lot of people’s lives through her leadership and her own personal kindness,” Patterson said.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at McCullough Funeral Home, with burial in Magnolia Park Cemetery.

Visitation is Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

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