Mobley has been named Administrator of the Year by the S.C. School Counselor Association. She was nominated by her staff for "providing the climate and support" needed by school counselors.
Daren Hutchinson, the school's guidance director, said Mobley has worked to lower the student-to-counselor ratio and has relieved counselors of administrative duties and paperwork. Mobley, 54, and in her third year as principal, talked with The Herald:
What is your philosophy as principal?
My job as principal is to do everything in my power to give teachers, counselors, staff and students the resources they need for students to be successful academically. Sometimes, that means finding financial resources to get students food or clothes. ... It might be providing time for professional development for teachers and staff to work together. Sometimes it means just getting materials for teachers.
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What is your top priority, and how do you measure your success?
Student success. You don't measure it by one thing. I look for improvement in the graduation rate, dropout rate, test scores and other things that students do that make them successful -- athletic competitions, arts performances and club activities. It's more than those things listed on the report cards.
The city and the Rock Hill school district recently held a dropout summit and said a top priority will be trying to keep students from quitting school. What works?
I think what works most is for kids to feel like somebody at school cares about them. If they feel like they have made a connection with an adult, that adult can have more sway in keeping them in school. When a student gets behind in work or attendance or grades, there's got to be someone here that can ... help them find ways to catch back up.
How did you find out you won?
Apparently all of the guidance office and the secretary and my family knew about this in advance. They asked me to go to Charleston to watch Daren Hutchinson receive an award. I was waiting for the banquet to honor him ... when my husband, who I thought was in Charlotte, called out my name. ... It was quite a surprise.