Sandy Strayer has been involved with Henry County Public Schools (HCPS) almost his entire life, but now plans to retire and find new ways to spend his time.
As a child, Strayer started school in Wanda Strange’s kindergarten class at Ridgeway Elementary School. “Elementary school teachers are very important.”
She graduated from Drewley Mason High School in one of the last classes to graduate before the school transitioned to middle school. I am in elementary school now.
Henry County school meant a lot to her parents, too. Her father, Thomas Cox, was the first graduate of Drewley Mason High School. Her mother, the late Glenda Cox, was Magna’s custodian at her Vista High School. “Both of my parents valued education very much,” said Strayer. “That’s probably why I’m here.”
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Strayer met Dr. Joseph DeBoult when he was in elementary school. He was the principal when she attended Drew Mason. “I just loved him,” said Strayer. “I thought, ‘I want to be like him.'” She ended up working with him when he was on his HCPS board.
She attended college at Radford University for four years before returning to Henry County, where she taught government at Bassett High School (BHS) and helped out with cheerleading, tennis and drama. “I had these wonderful kids. I taught all the seniors and it was great,” she said.
Next, she was asked to work as an assistant principal at Fieldale-Collinsville High School. When the school merged with her BHS, she became the Vice Principal of her BHS. She was once the principal of Collinsville Elementary School, which was located behind the John Red Smith Elementary School building.
“this [Collinsville Primary] It was great,” Strayer said. “I always wanted kids and it was perfect timing because suddenly there were over 300 and they loved, loved, loved you.”
Her next positions were Director of Secondary Education CTE, Director of K-12 Education CTE, Deputy Director of Education, Deputy Director of Operations and Administrative Services. She became superintendent of the school system five years before her.
When she met her husband, Seth Strayer, he told her, “I thought you had a lot of kids.”
“I am very passionate about helping people,” she said. “I believe everyone has strengths … and using people’s strengths to overcome their weaknesses. That’s what school is all about. How do you provide it?”
“I’m passionate about helping people because I think that’s what happened to me,” added Strayer. “I am a child of poverty, but along the way, so many people, my family, my friends, and those who surround me, have given me opportunities and supported me. gave me
“That’s why I’m here, and that’s definitely why I got my education,” she said.
The 53-year-old will officially step down from her position on June 30 to dedicate more time to her father. “I’m kind of scared to leave it,” she said. or dance,” Strayer said.
As seen in 2022’s Dancing for the Arts, she dances — she likes to bake cookies and brownies and cook traditional Southern dishes that remind her of the ones her mother made when she was a child.
Through her time at HCPS, she has built relationships in all positions. This has led to her being invited to her children’s birthday parties, sporting events at school, former students’ weddings, and reunions.
“I think those relationships have been forged forever,” Strayer said.
The famous sub is owned by the father of one of the Collinsville Elementary School students, and Jerry’s Pizza is owned by several former students of Fieldale Collinsville Middle School and Bassett High School.
“I seem to have taught everyone everywhere I go,” said Strayer.
Hairston is known for public speaking.Loves cooking, baking, utensils and Downton Abbey
Monique Holland is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. You can reach her at email@example.com or her at 276-734-9603.