Styles named principal at Mill CreekPublished 4:11pm Saturday, September 14, 2013
MADISON – Mill Creek Elementary School’s new principal, Dr. Claudia Styles, is leaving similar work at a county school.
Since 2007, Styles has worked as principal at Legacy Elementary School. She previously was assistant principal at Madison Crossroads elementary and Riverton middle schools. Also at Riverton, she taught first- and fifth-graders for eight years.
For several years, Styles has taught school law classes at Tennessee State University and served as an independent consultant for Cambium Learning Center and Sopris West Publishing Company.
After 23 years with Madison County Schools, Styles decided “to see what life in another school system would be like.” In addition, she is now “under the same ‘educational roof’” and calendar as her family. Her husband Bryan teaches at Bob Jones High School, and they have three children in Madison City Schools.
“Mill Creek elementary reminds me a lot of Legacy and seems to have the same community dynamics,” Styles said. “I’m eager to explore the tremendous talent hidden within the walls of Mill Creek. I’ve always been impressed with the innovative and progressive nature that defines Madison City.”
One of the Styles’ children has attended Mill Creek. “From a parent perspective, I have seen first-hand how the school operates,” Styles said. She acknowledged former principal Melanie Barkley’s work, especially in promoting professional development for teachers.
Styles describes herself as “a very hands-on principal” who enjoys interacting with students. She provides them with options for leadership, decision-making and social time outside the classroom.
An “in-house postal system” at Legacy expanded communication. “The letter-writing process allowed students to communicate with me through written expression. I received many letters each day,” Styles said.
Letters ranged from compliments to complaints about cafeteria food. “Some of my most memorable letters are from students who wanted to start a club or had an idea to make the school better,” Styles said. “Elementary students are extremely creative and have a natural sense” about being entrepreneurs.
Her college credits include Auburn, Alabama A&M and Nova Southeastern universities.