Kimberly Jackson admitted she has tossed and turned in her sleep in anticipation of the first day of school Friday.
The new Ferriday High principal has hit the ground running in preparing for the 2019-20 school year.
"We want to set the tone the first day of school," Jackson said. "And I want to keep the momentum going. Excellence is our goal and we have a plan of action."
Jackson graduated from Wilkinson County High School and attended Alcorn State, earning an undergraduate degree in agriculture while getting her Masters in education and education administration. She is pursuing her doctorate in organizational leadership
Jackson became interested in teaching when she was part of the AmeriCorps program in 2001.
"I developed a passion for wanting to be an educator," she said. "I take pride in seeing children learn.
She became a certified teacher and taught in Amite County in 2002.
Jackson became an administrator in Wilkinson County in 2009 and was elected as Wilkinson County superintendent in 2016.
When asked why go from a superintendent to a principal, Jackson said, "I don't see why not?"
And statistics also played a part in the change.
"The career span for superintendents is three-and-a-half years," she said.
Jackson said she was also ready to get involved in a school and a community.
"I want to instill in the children what a quality education can do for them. "In collaboration with teachers and parents, I want to provide Ferriday High students with what it means to be successful," she said.
"I am very impressed with Ferriday High School. I am thankful every morning when I pull up into the parking lot. This school is resource-rich.
“Ferriday High has all the tools for success. The community is excellent. I have had great response from the people and businesses. This is a very close knit community and I want to insure everyone that their children will have a adequate education and that every child has their own unique experience here and going beyond the scope of Ferriday High."
Jackson said her hobby is reading.
"I was told a long time ago that all the information you ever need to know is in a book," she said.
Jackson said when she found out she was selected as principal at Ferriday, she went to work gathering all the information she could on being an administrator in Louisiana.
"It's a big transition," she said. "And I have been studying up on the differences. We will focus a lot on tests. I want our students to make at least a 20 on their ACT so they can be eligible for TOPS."
Jackson, who has a 26-year old son named James and a 16-year-old daughter named Ikea and three grandchildren, will marry her fiance, Mickell Smith, in December.
But for now Jackson is preparing for her extended family.
"Everyone here seems eager to do what is right for the children and they have gone above and beyond," she said. "I am very excited to be at Ferriday High."