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New Principal of Ashford Park Returns to Roots

LaShawn McMillan, the new principal of Ashford Park Elementary, is glad to be working with young children again.


As the new principal of , LaShawn McMillan has come full circle. 

She started her career working with small children and then became principal at several area high schools. For some time, though, she has wanted to return to her roots.

As of July 1, .

“I’m back where I started,” she told Patch. “Working with elementary and pre-school age children has always been my passion because that is where children get their start.”

She understands well the school’s diverse population, comparing it to the children’s TV show “Sesame Street.”

“It’s every color, every economic group,” she said. “So I’m really happy to be here. It’s a privilege to work with these children.”

In her first few weeks, she has looked at test scores from the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, or CRCT, and identified areas for improvement.

“We need to focus on our math and our science,” she said. “Although the scores look good, we always want to improve.”

She also wants to implement writing across the school. “I think writing is a very important piece in helping improve academics for all children in all subjects,” she said.

And she plans to work with the PTA to enhance after-school activities.

Before coming to Ashford Park, McMillan was a high school principal. With 14 years of experience in education, she holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in social work from the University of Georgia. After directing a family literacy program at three elementary schools in Gwinnett County, she went on to become assistant principal at Norcross High School. She then became principal of Cross Keys High School and Arabia Mountain High School.

She is married to her college sweetheart and they have three children – ages 11, 8 and 3. Two of them used to attend Ashford Park.

“I’m really, really excited to be here. I was a parent here so I’ve loved this school for quite some time,” she said. “When I found out I was going to be the principal, I [thought], ‘No way!’”

In her spare time, she attends her children’s sporting events and goes to the beach with her family.

“That is my first full-time job – being a mommy,” she said.

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