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Corbitt settling into PCHS role

Pike County High School Principal Dr. Charles Corbitt welcomed Pike County World War II veterans and the PCHS JROTC Honor Guard honored the veterans with a flag salute as their motorcade   paraded circled the school’s teardrop drive Wednesday afternoon, Veterans Day 2020.

Corbitt said it was an honor to have the WWII veterans on campus and important for the students to have the opportunity to personally thank the Greatest Generation veterans for their service.

Following the parade, Corbitt talked easily and readily about his first year at the helm of leadership at PCHS and about the challenges and opportunities that have come with COVID-19.

After 22 years in the Dothan city schools, Corbitt made the move to Pike County High School for two primary reasons, to work with high school level students and be a part of the  “great things” Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, and his leadership team are doing to elevate the Pike County schools into prominence.

“I did some substituting at Pike County High during the time I was working on my master’s degree at Troy so I was familiar with the school and the system,” Corbitt said.

“I was very impressed with Dr. Bazzell’s innovative ideas and the positive direction in which the Pike County Schools were moving. I felt like I would be a good fit with the school system and I welcomed  the opportunity to be part of it, and also the challenges.”

COVID-19 presented unexpected challenges and opportunities.

Corbitt said PCHS and the other Pike County schools have been able to meet the challenges before them because the superintendent and his team had developed a plan and laid out and, therefore,   put the schools on a course for success.

“We had a plan and we were prepared to do our job,” he said. “Students must always come first and, with COVID-19, we had to first ensure the safety of students and our faculty and staff.”

And, Dr. Bazzell made sure that we were up for the challenge. He and his leadership team had everything in place.”

And, to make sure everyone was onboard, there was a boot camp, of sorts. “Dr. Bazzell expected things to be safe and things to run smoothly,” Corbitt said.

And because Bazzell’s expectations were met, Corbitt said things have run smoothly. “Of course, that meant extra work but, for me, I felt I was prepared, as best I could be, to accept the  challenges and make the best of the opportunities.”

The challenges include leading a school with both traditional and virtual students.

“Those challenges are about the same as if all students were here in the classroom,” Corbitt said. “Some students are, by their nature, dedicated and hard-working while others need assistance and prompting.

Students who have chosen the virtual option, have to be self-disciplined and focused. If they are not, there might not be anyone around to assist and prompt them. Much of the success of either  the traditional or the virtual option is dependent on the individual students. If they were all in the classroom, it would still be that way — some students would be behind and other would be moving ahead.”

When the time comes and all students return to the classroom, Corbitt said there will be students who need intervention to get them caught up. Others will be where they are expected to be and others  will have moved ahead.

Either way, Corbitt said Pike County High School is meeting the needs of its students and the faculty members are making sure their students are in a safe place and are accepting and overcoming the  challenges brought about by the pandemic.

As for Dr. Charles Corbitt, Pike County High School is where he wants to be, doing what he wants to do– leading young men and women to successful and productive futures.