PERRY — In a little more than two decades, Darryl Albritton went from being a student at Perry High School to being its principal.
“Never in a million years I thought I’d be back here, even in Perry, much less principal of my own high school,” Albritton, 46, said. “I’m proud to be principal, and I care deeply about what happens here.”
With six years as principal of Perry High School under his belt, Albritton is one of two finalists vying for the job of Houston County schools superintendent as current Superintendent David Carpenter prepares to leave his post May 28.
Himself a product of Houston County schools, Albritton has spent his entire career working within the school system.
Beginning as a physical education teacher at Tucker Elementary School, Albritton was also the assistant principal at Perry High and principal at Kings Chapel Elementary before taking on his current role in 2004.
Albritton holds a doctorate degree in educational leadership from the University of Sarasota (now Argosy University), specialist’s and master’s degrees in educational leadership from Georgia College & State University, and a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from the University of Georgia.
Having strong educational role models growing up helped shape his own career choices, Albritton said.
“I had some influential teachers as a kid,” he said. “They changed me. They believed in me. They were my cheerleaders. I want to be able to have that effect on other kids in the educational field.”
In the time since Albritton became principal at Perry High, the school increased its Advanced Placement course offerings from three in 2004 to 12 next year.
The school is also one of 15 high schools in Georgia recognized for achieving a graduation rate of at least 85 percent in 2008 after increasing its graduation rate by more than 10 percentage points from 2004 rates, as well as receiving the Governor’s Cup for SAT score improvement in 2007.
Part of the school’s success has come from maintaining discipline in the classroom, so teachers can focus on academics, Albritton said.
“We’re here to help kids. They feed (into) that and meet us halfway. It’s win-win, not us versus them. We’re in this together,” he said.
Kings Chapel Elementary also saw gains while Albritton was principal there.
The school was named a 2005 Georgia School of Excellence based on three years of improvements in math and language arts scores, and earned among the top CRCT scores in Houston County in 2003 and 2004.
Outside of the classroom, Albritton enjoys reading, golfing, jogging and attending athletic events and competitions of Perry High students, including those of his own children, senior Hillary, junior Carson and freshman Olivia.
Albritton looks forward to leading a system that has achieved Adequate Yearly Progress at all of its schools and has maintained high standardized test scores.
However, operating under big budget cuts for the schools will be a challenge.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and beliefs,” Albritton said of the upcoming interview process. “You do a lot of professional reflection for a job like this.”
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.