Getting to Know the Administrators


Principal Watkins, Asst. Principal Rathbun, and Asst. Principal Jones

Advising students to make better choices, listening to parents, guiding teachers to improve their craft are just a few of the daily responsibilities for administrators. There are reasons that the principals chose such a challenging profession.

Before becoming a principal, Mr. Watkins taught social studies and coached baseball, football, soccer, basketball, and track. He chose to become an administrator for “personal and professional growth” and the chance to make a difference on a larger scale. He has been in education for 22 years.

“I enjoy the opportunity to hire new teachers and see the professional growth they experience,” Principal Watkins said.

Being a principal isn’t easy.

“Carrying the burden of running an entire school of nearly 1,000 people is sometimes daunting, but I enjoy my job as we have created a positive school climate that is fun to come to every day,” Principal Watkins said.

Outside of school, Principal Watkins relieves stress through physical conditioning.

“I run half-marathons and therefore train quite a bit; plus, I enjoy the company of friends,” Principal Watkins said.

Assistant Principal Rathbun, who has been in education for 20 years, worked as a counselor at Northside High School and taught music before that. One of her elementary school principals encouraged her to pursue administration.

“I believe I can help more students, teachers, and families as an administrator,” Mrs. Rathbun said. “I work with teachers as they find ways to continue to improve their instruction and engage students. I enjoy working with students because I believe that junior high is an important time in their life as they begin making choices and decisions that can impact their futures. Parents and families play an important role in these decisions as well. As an administrator, I am able to help connect them with resources that assist them and their children.”

Working with students is Assistant Principal Rathbun’s favorite part of her job.

“I know I am often seen as the bad guy because assistant principals are associated with discipline, but I enjoy getting to know all of our students and see them grow and reach their goals,” Mrs. Rathbun said.

Gavin Garrett, 8th, sees the softer side of Assistant Principal Rathbun.

“There are many things that are likable about Mrs. Rathbun,” Gavin said. “She can be very nice and can have a good conversation with you, but she knows when something is serious, and she knows how to do her job.”

Outside of school, Assistant Principal Rathbun loves to read.

“Reading has always been relaxing to me,” Assistant Principal Rathbun said. “When I read a good book, it’s almost like making new friends or visiting new places. I can’t wait to get back to reading to find out what happens next!”

Before becoming an assistant principal, Mr. Jones taught World History, Sociology, and Psychology for six years at Northside High School and also coached basketball.

“I was inspired to become an administrator because I wanted to have impact on a school in its entirety,” Assistant Principal Jones said.

Other than being inspired, Mr. Jones also has things he enjoys most about his job.

“I enjoy working with teachers and students to help develop critical thinking and life skills,” Assistant Principal Jones said.

Outside of school, Mr. Jones said he is “a pretty boring guy.”

“My favorite hobbies are working out, playing sports, and reading,” Assistant Principal Jones said.

Some kids have built a bond with Assistant Principal Jones.

“Mr. Jones gets down on the kids’ level to get a better understanding of where they’re coming from,” Sajdah Johnson, 9th, said.

After only one year at Kimmons, Assistant Principal Jones has accepted the opportunity to return to Northside High School. This time as an administrator.

“I look forward to having an impact on more students,” Assistant Principal Jones said. “I am a product of Spradling, Kimmons, and Northside, and have tried to be an example to those who come behind me, so they can know that they too can achieve their dreams.”

There are things that Assistant Principal Jones will miss about Kimmons.

“I will miss working with the students as I had built relationships with them,” Assistant Principal Jones said. “I try to get across to them that if they would think situations through to their entirety, then they can reach their full potential.”