TIFTON — After 32 years, Tift County High School Principal Kim Seigler is getting ready to retire.
She was principal for eight years, but spent 32 years in education in the Tift County school system, starting in 1988 at her alma mater, TCHS.
“In education, every day is a new experience, and I think this makes the time pass by so quickly,” she said in an email interview. “I spent 23 years in the classroom, and those were my favorite years.”
Seigler said that the technology of teaching has evolved a great deal since she started.
“I started my career when a chalkboard and ditto machine were the technology of the day,” she said. “As my career ends, Tift County High School is operating completely online.”
Seigler saw and ushered in many changes to the high school during her tenure. She also witnessed many high points during her career.
“During my time as principal, our basketball team won the State Championship twice,” she said. “We added the Tift College and Career Academy and Tift Academy to our program offerings. We completed a major addition and renovation of Tift County High School, and we added the ninth grade to our campus.
“After researching the history of our Blue Devil mascot, we recently unveiled a new Blue Devil that proudly represents that history. We updated our campus by adding campus signage and flags, and we added beautiful graphics inside the building to display our Blue Devil pride. Our school has changed a lot in the last eight years, and I am very proud to have had a role in those changes.”
The best part of teaching has always been getting to know the students for Seigler.
“Learning is hard work, and I thoroughly enjoyed helping my students learn,” she said. “Even now, I see my students everywhere I go in Tifton. Occasionally, I get emails or letters from those who no longer live close by. I love to see my students succeed and to hear about their lives and their families. By far, having the opportunity to work with and learn from my students is the highlight of my career.”
Seigler also said that she was lucky to have worked with such great colleagues.
“Over the years, I have worked with many caring, dedicated educators who love the children and the community that they serve,” she said. “Over the past couple of months, I have witnessed this devotion even more as our educators have refused to allow a pandemic to stop the learning and caring for students. Tift County is truly blessed to have a wonderful school system, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of it.”