Onslow County principal named Southeast Region Principal of the Year

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) One elementary school principal in the area has been named one of the state's top eight principals of the year.

Deborah Hoffman, Principal at Jacksonville Commons Elementary, got the big news Tuesday afternoon. She was chosen from all elementary, middle, and high schools from 12 of North Carolina's southeastern counties.

"I love being part of change. 70%-65% of our students come from neighborhoods that are quite challenged, that are very very similar to the neighborhood that I grew up in," said Hoffman.

Originally from Beaulaville, she has worked for Onslow County Schools for 22-years. She has been an administrator for 7-years and says elementary education can make an impact to last a lifetime.

"We will help a kid understand that education is good and will open many doors for them, or, if we don't do our job well, they may decide that they don't like school at all. All of that is set into motion in an elementary building, and so we set the stage," added Hoffman.

Many of Hoffman's students are in military families, which is why she partnered Jacksonville Commons Elementary with the Trevor Romain Foundation.

She added, "We reach out to the military families and provide support as they transition in, as deployments occur, and as they transition back home."

Hoffman said she was impressed her staff managed to pull off the surprise announcement, because she had just walked through the hallways about 15 minutes prior to the big gathering in the library.

Hoffman is one of eight regional principals who can be chosen as state principal of the year. That decision will be made in May.