During the summer, Starr’s Mill went through many renovations to improve the education of the returning students. Along with the returning students, Brandi Meeks, the new assistant principal has also came back to Starr’s Mill.
“I think sometimes you have to step out of things to realize how much you appreciate the people around you, the environment that you have, and the love that you have around you,” Meeks said. “When you miss those things, you really realize it and there are times that you get to come back and really and truly fully appreciate what you have.”
Despite the fact that this is Meeks’ first year as an assistant principal, she had actually been with Starr’s Mill since the school opened. Before she left the Mill, she taught Spanish for 19 years and was also the world language department chair.
“Starr’s Mill is a family, it’s a close community, and I loved it because I had helped start it and I’ve always felt like people cared here,” Meeks said. “It wasn’t just one time or another time, but it was everybody cared about each other and once you were here, people don’t tend to leave.”
Although Meeks had lots of love for Starr’s Mill and was completely happy, she felt the need to move closer to home in Newnan, Ga. In August 2016, she moved to Arnall Middle School in Newnan to teach Spanish as a connections class.
“I missed Starr’s Mill a lot, but I didn’t really understand. I didn’t really understand why I needed to move,” Meeks said. “I was happy here, but I knew that it was time for me to go and I couldn’t figure out why.”
The answer to why she felt the need to move was found nine weeks later when she learned that her son was diagnosed with cancer. To help her son with the treatment, she stayed at Arnall Middle School for another year, teaching there for two years in total.
“Now he’s fine, but I know looking back now, that was the feeling in my heart that I needed to be close to my family in that time,” Meeks said.
Meeks wanted to be an assistant principal even when she was a teacher. When things settled down for the family, Meeks applied to become the assistant principal in the spring.
“Ms. Meeks was the best qualified applicant when we hired her and it was an added bonus that she had already spent so long at Starr’s Mill previously.” Starr’s Mill Principal Allen Leonard said. “Her experience at SMHS allowed her to make a seamless transition back into the culture of the school while also bringing a fresh perspective gained from her time away.”
As the new assistant principal, Meeks is taking care of the testing happening in the Mill. Also, she will be helping with the graduation at the end of the year.
“I taught Spanish for all 21 years, even though it was in a different place, it was very similar. But this [assistant principal job] is completely brand new for me and so I’m excited about learning something new, while at the same time being excited to be back,” Meeks said.