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Clifford ‘at home’ as PCHS assistant principal

Hannah Clifford has been named the new assistant principal at Pike County High School. She has been a teacher at PCHS for seven years and she has taught English, theater, and was over the English department in the past.

Clifford grew up in Andalusia and graduated from Troy University with a degree in English Language Arts Education.

“I’ve had my administration degree for almost two years now and I’ve never had a desire to leave the system,” Clifford said. “I love the Pike County school system, and it’s the best place I could be.”

When the administration job became available at the school, it was the perfect opportunity for Clifford.

“I was very excited to stay at PCHS because this is home for me. I was also very nervous because I have very big shoes to fill since Mrs. Whitaker moved to become the middle school specialist,” she said.

Clifford explained that Mrs. Whitaker has been a mentor to her over the past seven years, and she knows that stepping into her position will be a big role to fill.

“Mrs. Whitaker had been the assistant principal here for at least as long as I’ve been here,” Clifford explained. “She’s a very compassionate person who has always done a phenomenal job and has helped to initiate and grow several programs.”

PCHS has a lot of programs to help prepare the students including the academies, short-term certificate programs, and STEM, and Clifford plans to continue maintaining and growing these different programs.

“I want to help encourage students to follow these routes, so they can graduate with either a certificate or an associate degree,” she said. “Our big thing is focusing on whatever is best for our students.”

Clifford also wants to continue pushing STEM to help students by integrating technology in a learning setting and teaching them how to use technology in the workplace.

“Here at PCHS we have big expectations for our students. Our expectations are educational in the classroom as well as behavioral,” Clifford explained. “We expect all our students to learn because we think all students can learn.”

“Our expectations for the students are for them to be at school and engaged and to be respectful citizens,” she added.

While Clifford has been adjusting from having a teacher mindset to having an administrator’s mindset, she believes that her experience and coming straight from the classroom will help her in this new position.

“I know what it’s like to teach here, I know the expectations of the teachers and what they do, and I know the hard work, time, and effort that they put it,” she said.

“I really want to help support them because I can help the students by helping the teachers who are actually in the classrooms together every day.”