Forget the three R’s. at the reunion of the Warner Robins Middle and Junior High schools staff and faculty it was the three F’s.
Family, friendship and food.
It is the third year that Brett Wallace, principal at Warner Robins Middle School, has hosted an event celebrating both the school’s legacy and its future.
Lunch was served and several people stood up and shared memories of their days working at the school from a teacher known for her stylish outfits who arrived with mismatched shoes one day to a coach who would fill his pockets with French fries to eat during practice.
One story involved a teacher catching students running in the hall — he told the principal at the time, Joe Musselwhite, about it, and was assured that something would be done.
Something was done. The teacher found himself assigned to hall duty.
The stories were greeted with laughter from the crowd that filled the school’s media center. Praise and fond memories were shared with one name being repeated over and over.
Musselwhite was the school’s first principal and set the standard for excellence that the school still enjoys today.
Larry Beck, a former principal at the school, attributed the success of the school to Musselwhite and what he started.
“He was a man of faith, who believed in supporting the kids and the staff. All I did was try to follow his lead. We didn’t work for him, he worked for us,” said Beck.
“Good stuff has been happening here, is happening here,” said Wallace, who said that the school has always been committed to students.
“Above all else, we want an environment that impacts student learning with day-to-day instruction from good teachers. It is important to me as principal to hire the best teachers and then support that teacher, so they don’t leave our school,” Wallace said.
Wallace said that one of the benchmarks of Warner Robins Middle School’s success was the low turnover, with teachers leaving because of retirement, promotion or as a military spouse but not to transfer to another school.
“Warner Robins Middle has always been a family. People need to feel like they are part of something, part of a family. These are people that spend a lot more than eight hours a day doing their job, so we want them to love what they are doing,” said Wallace.
The family atmosphere of the staff at Warner Robins carries over into the instruction and success of the students.
“We are the best at motivating and supporting our kids. We are convinced that education is more than test scores — it is something that you carry with you as you graduate, go out in life and start your own family,” said Wallace.
Alline Kent can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.