BY SHEA ODOM
The Greenville Standard
McKenzie School is beginning a new era and recently welcomed a new principal, Michael Collins.
Collins began his career at a young age of 19 years old. He always wanted to go in to teaching but decided adventure called to him first.
He joined the United States Coast Guard for structured adventure. He was able to obtain his college education during his time with the military.
Once leaving the Coast Guard, Collins was employed with the Elmore County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy sheriff. He was also a narcotics investigator for eight years.
Despite the years spent as a law enforcement officer, Collins never lost his pull to education and began his transition to a new career path.
Collins spent time teaching sixth, seventh, and ninth grades, as well as coaching on the football field and basketball court.
Collins enjoyed teaching but realized where he truly wanted to make a difference, in the lives of children versus instruction. He completed his master’s degree and transition to administration.
Collins recalls traveling to McKenzie as head basketball coach at Holtville High School saying, “I expected the turn out for this small, 1-A school to be nothing. We arrived, and the gym was packed wall to wall. The atmosphere was electric that night. As I rode the bus back home, I remember thinking this community really supports this school. I would love to be a principal at a place like that one day.”
Collins states he happened across the opening at McKenzie School and knew he wanted to apply.
He was pleased to find out he had the position and knew he was where God wanted him to be.
“The school belongs to the community,” said Collins when he was asked about parental and community involvement.
Collins believes it is important to involve the entire community and not limit involvement to just parents.
He said, “I want to work with community members and meet community goals to establish a symbiotic relationship between school and community. We want to create a vested interest.”
Collins also feels there has been a near return to normalcy in regards to opening the doors to outside volunteers for school events and functions post COVID.
“I would love to start fine arts programs here at McKenzie and will need community volunteers for those programs,” said Collins.
Collins is excited and hopeful for upcoming changes for McKenzie School and stated, “I would like to express my appreciation for everyone being so welcoming since arriving in McKenzie. People have gone above and beyond to reach out to myself and my family.”
Please contact McKenzie School if you are interested in finding out more information on how to become a volunteer for a new program, event, or function at 334-374-2711.