Written by by Rachael Barefield
At Lee-Scott Academy, there are many people that help things run smoothly. There are three key people, however, that make everything fall together on a day-by-day basis: Headmaster Dr. Don Roberts, Elementary Principal Nancy McLeod and Secondary Principal Bobby Samford.
Dr. Roberts has been at Lee-Scott for 12 years. Prior to coming to Lee-Scott, he spent two years in the Harris County (Ga.) Schools, two years at Opelika High School, two years at Benjamin-Russell High and two years at Auburn High.
“Originally I was going to become an engineer,” Roberts recalls. “That had been my plan for awhile. But I had this constant, ongoing struggle with myself. Every aptitude test I’d ever taken had suggested that I should be associated with people. So I changed my plans, even though I already had a roommate at Georgia Tech, and enrolled at Auburn.
Lee-Scott is lucky that he made the decision.
“I’m very pleased at where our school’s education is right now,” Roberts said. “There’s always room for improvement, but the success of our graduates shows our track record.”
Roberts wants LSA to be as up-to-date as possible. That’s one reason he is pushing the school’s current iPad initiative, an effort to put Apple’s iPad tablet computers in the hands of all Lee-Scott students next year.
“Education reflects our society,” he says. “The original goal for education was to teach students to read the Bible and be good citizens because that was what society called for. Now, though, we’re in a technological age and society is revolving around that. So naturally we need to update and be able to teach our students the way it will be in the real world.”
Roberts has big plans for LSA’s future in education with and without technology. “I want us to be a leader in everything, public and private. Our students are going to have to compete with people on a global standard in life. I want them to have the best chance they possibly can.”
Many of Roberts’s beliefs and goals are shared by Lee-Scott’s elementary principal Nancy McLeod. McLeod began teaching at Scott Prep in 1973. In 1993, she became the elementary principal of Lee-Scott.
“When I was in school, it wasn’t fun,” she said of her own school days. “We didn’t do any group work or other activities. I thought that, if I taught, I would be able to make it more fun.”
When McLeod was first given the title of principal, she found herself missing the classroom. But she easily adjusted. She is also very pleased with LSA’s current educational position and agrees that more technology will be a good addition.
“People can have all sorts of tools to help them,” she said. “I think technology will help enrich and enhance different programs, activities, even methods of teaching.
“But I don’t think technology will ever replace pen and paper. It’s the same as how you can’t replace people with robots. Nothing can replace good teachers and the traditional ways of doing things.”
McLeod doesn’t see too much of a difference between Lee-Scott now and in the future.
“Lee-Scott’s strongest point, in my opinion, is its environment,” she explains. “We have a very family-oriented atmosphere. That’s why I feel things won’t be too different from today. I think we’ll be up-to-date technologically, but not much bigger. Bigger isn’t always necessarily better.”
Lee-Scott’s secondary principal, Bobby Samford, has been at Lee-Scott 17 years. He worked as both a teacher and coach at LSA before taking on his current role in 1995.
Samford agrees wholeheartedly with his colleagues about Lee-Scott’s current position and its future direction.
“We never want to be satisfied with where we are,” he said. “Technology is a great way to enhance instruction. With things in society changing so rapidly, you need to have the very best way to learn available for the students. We always want to improve here, and we plan on continuing to do just that.”