Essie McKoy, the principal of Petree Elementary School, recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a doctorate of education degree in educational leadership.
She credits her accomplishment to her belief in God that all things are possible with faith and the determination to strive for excellence.
Our kids can achieve greatness and have the potential, we just have to show them the way and make a powerful impact while they are young,
Dr. McKoy has also earned an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from UNCG, a master’s degree in middle grades education from Appalachian State University, with certifications in public school administration and curriculum and instruction and a BS degree in special education with certification in learning disabilities from Winston-Salem State University.
She also completed the Principals’ Executive Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving the program’s Outstanding Academic Achievement Award; the Leadership Program for New Principals at UNC Chapel Hill, receiving the prestigious Jack McCall Award.
Dr. McKoy, a member of the National Scholars Honor Society, began her teaching career at the former Petree Middle School and later taught at Hanes-Lowrance Middle School. She served as an instructor at the Math and Science Academy of Excellence at Winston-Salem State University. Before becoming the principal at Petree, she was the principal at Hall-Woodward Elementary School.
As a special treat for her students, Dr. McKoy wore her doctoral graduation regalia live on the school’s daily morning show and talked to students about dreaming, setting goals, working hard and attending college.
“Our kids can achieve greatness and have the potential, we just have to show them the way and make a powerful impact while they are young,” she said.
The students asked intriguing questions about college, her regalia and how she got to be a “Dr.” No matter what the question was, the answer always led back to “you can do the same.”
Dr. McKoy thinks that it is more than irony that she is back leading the school where she started her educational career. She wants to impact the lives of her students and instill in them the notion that they too can become anything and accomplish anything.