Miller Grove ISD principals go the extra mile

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Jaime Fox and Gary Billingsley/ File photo

Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series to honor Hopkins County school principals.

Principals form the backbone of any school administration, and Miller Grove ISD thinks their principals do so many little things that add up to make the Hornets’ experience successful. 

Elementary principal Jaime Fox is a Miller Grove ISD alumni herself. She graduated in 1994 and in 2011 she was hired as the elementary principal. Her duties range from typical discipline and paperwork to lunch duty in the cafeteria and getting kids on the bus. 

“We’re not a large district so each person wears a lot of hats,” school board president Brandon Darrow noted. “Jaime organizes a big part of our Fall Carnival, field trips, and basically anything that needs to be done at the elementary school.”

Fox is known as a friendly, bubbly person and gets along with parents, students and employees alike. Recently she organized special events for students due to COVID-19 cancellations. 

“She genuinely wants our students to be happy, enjoy the learning atmosphere and be successful in anything they attempt,” Darrow noted. 

High school principal/ athletic director Gary Billingsley was hired in 2005 as a coach and history teacher. He assumed the junior high/high school principal position when Kim Irby retired in 2015. His duties encompass the normal role of being a principal but he also continues to coach and depending upon the needs of the district, some years he may even teach a class. 

“His strong points include being organized and motivating students and teachers,” Darrow said. “He is proactive and likes to be ahead of the game not only on the basketball court but also in the classroom. I think a big part of our junior high and high school success is due to his competitive nature.”

Billingsley wants students to be the best in academics, sports, and their careers. Billingsley likes to think outside the box and try new things and find new ways to help students. 

“He isn’t afraid to implement new ideas if he thinks it will benefit our students,” Darrow noted. “He recognizes that they are our number one priority.”

Both principals do an excellent job and work very hard to make Miller Grove ISD one of the best, Darrow said. While some employees work 9-to-5, Miller Grove’s Fox and Billingsley work during holidays, nights and weekends. 

Their job takes up a lot of their personal time, whether working from home after hours or staying at their office on campus late in the day. Administrators, school board, kids and parents appreciate them and all they do for the students.