Dr. Claudia Styles, who has served as assistant principal at Ralph Askins School for the past two years, has been named principal for the upcoming school year.
Dr. Styles takes the reins from Dr. Bridgette Jones, who recently left the system to accept another position.
“I have learned some valuable lessons working under the leadership of Dr. Jones,” said Dr. Styles. “Just when you think you have learned it all, it takes someone like Dr. Jones to demonstrate the true meaning of principalship. I have never worked for a principal who loves her teachers and students as much as Dr. Jones does.
“I am excited for the opportunity to continue my work with the leadership team at Ralph Askins,” she added. “I honestly could not ask for a better group of teachers and staff. I would like to continue the great work that Dr. Jones has started at Ralph Askins. I realize with COVID-19, our schools will have to make changes to ensure the safety and wellness of our students and teachers. I have no doubt that our school community will pull together and do what needs to be done to meet the health needs of our students without compromising their educational experience.”
Dr. Styles earned a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and her doctorate from Nova Southeastern. She was a classroom teacher for eight years and has been an administrator for 22 years in both the middle and elementary settings.
In 2007, Dr. Styles was named principal to the newest elementary school in Madison County. While at Legacy Elementary School, she was able to share her passion for experience-based learning as she implemented a variety of project-based learning structures, each receiving state and national recognition. One of the most popular structures was a half-acre fully-stocked pond with surrounding gardens and a variety of animal habitats. This project was one of the largest outdoor classrooms in the state of Alabama.
In the fall of 2013, she was asked to serve as principal at Mill Creek Elementary School in Madison City. There, she assumed many leadership roles and was assigned to the ELA Curriculum Lead.
Dr. Styles has taught School Law classes at Tennessee State University and over the past 12 years has served as an independent consultant for the Cambium Learning Center and Sopris West Publishing Company.
After completing 25 years in education in Alabama, Dr. Styles retired and was given the opportunity to assume the assistant principal position at Fayetteville Middle School. In January 2018, she was returned to the elementary setting to work with Dr. Jones at Ralph Askins. There, she has served as a Read to Be Ready Coach/Summer Program Director and has conducted various Summer Bootcamp trainings/webinars as Content Specialist for the Instruction Partners.
“As a school leader, I have always instilled in students that no mountain is too high for them to climb,” said Dr. Styles. “When I was in elementary school, I struggled academically in the area of math. These struggles have helped me become a better educator as I have had a first-hand experience with learning challenges. My struggles prepared me for my successes and accomplishments as an educator. Therefore, through perseverance and hard work, our students are capable of accomplishing anything they put their mind to.
“I have always encouraged our teachers to find multiple ways to teach new skills using a hands-on, real-world approach to learning,” she added. “I believe it is equally important to involve our parents in their student’s education. This is a team effort, and it takes all of us working together to give our children the best education possible.”
Dr. Styles is married to Bryan Styles, who is also an educator and head coach at Athens Middle School. They have three children, Carson, 23, Presley, 22, and Walker, 19.