CHAMBLEE, Ga. - Sikeston, Mo., native Rochelle Patterson Lowery has come a long way from leading five younger siblings to leading a student body of more than 1,300 students.
Lowery is beginning her first year as principal at Chamblee High School, located in Chamblee.
It is a role and a challenge she told the Chamblee High School student newspaper she is ready to face.
"My goal is to maintain a positive and safe school climate," Lowery told the newspaper. "I believe with the continuous efforts of the students and the faculty it will be accomplished."
Also the new principal, who is the first African-American to serve as principal at Chamblee High School, said she will be working to implement the school board's "High Schools That Work" policy. The policy calls for the implementing of college-oriented curriculum, engaging students in learning and using student data to improve the school.
Lowery described growing up in a close-knit family in Sikeston, where she graduated from Sikeston High School. "Our parents always taught us to live and love," she said in a article published in the Blue and Gold, the school newspaper. She is the daughter of the late Albert and Castella Patterson.
While aspiring for the top in academics and sports, Lowery said she found inspiration in her coaches, teachers and especially, her parents.
Lowery earned her bachelor's degree in education from Arkansas College then joined the Air Force. She served in the army field-training portion of the Air Force and was able to travel as a participant in the Air Force women's basketball team.
After six years of active duty, Lowery joined the Reserves and began her coaching and teaching career at Chamblee.
While serving as a physical education teacher at Chamblee, Lowery earned her master's in educational leadership at Jacksonville State University. She then served as assistant principal of facility management and student support before being named to her present position.
Lowery and her husband, J.R., reside in Lithonia, Ga.