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At Tuesday’s Rotary Club meeting, Pam Asbell wanted to clarify two things up front.
“Iee^am not a new principal. Iee^am not new to Williston,” said the recently appointed principal at Williston Middle School.
Asbell, who spent the last three years at Chiefland High School said she, in fact, lived in Williston until her parents moved to Archer when she was 11.
Asbell, an educator for nearly 30 years, fills the void left by retiring principal Ernst L. Kordgien.
Recalling an analogy by Jeff Edison, Asbell told Rotarians, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
And that sense of caring is what she focused on during her presentation Tuesday.
Her grown children live in Williston and she said it won’t be long before they enter the halls of the middle school.
“Iee^have a reason to care. ee^Iee^have a reason to make Williston Middle School better,” she said.
Asbell literally worked her way up from school aide to principal. It was after a long succession of jobs at Archer Community School that she hit pay dirt as the principal’s secretary.
“That’s the job I want,” she said she remembered saying.
So it was back to school to earn a degree.
After being assistant principal at Newberry, she heard openings were available in Levy County. Ready for the next challenge, she applied and was hired at Chiefland High School.
She admits the first year was rough but is proud of her accomplishments there, especially overseeing the rise in test scores.
“Williston Middle is a good school,” she said. “It has good policies and procedures and is above average.”
Asbell said in the weeks ahead she wants to garner perceptions the community has about the school, change the esthetics and increase communication between the school and families.
“We have to begin to treat students like clients and teach them to be the most successful they can be,” she said.
“Iee^have a passion for what I do,” she added, “and I’m going to work hard and diligently.”