From the ground up: Sampson County education leader began career journey as a custodian

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Saturday, August 24, 2019
Sampspn County educator rose from humble start as custodian
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Sampspn County educator rose from humble start as custodian

CLINTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Sampson County woman, who began her education career as a custodian, now holds the title of Secondary Director of Sampson County Schools.

Jennifer Daughtry's inspiring career began back in 1983 when she took a summertime custodian job at Hobbton Elementary School.

After working in that role for two years, Daughtry took on a teacher's assistant position and it was only up from there.

"Administrative assistant, bus driver, bus coordinator, SIMS coordinator, career development coordinator, assistant principal in Harnett and Sampson county, staff development: teacher recruitment in Sampson county schools, assistant principals in Sampson county schools," Daughtry said.

In total, Daughtry told ABC11 that she's held about 12 different positions in the span of 34 years, including head principal at Hobbton High School.

The long and eventful career has given Daughtry some perspective on the value of each position.

"Custodians are some of the most important people in our building. I relied heavily on my custodians when I was here," Daughtry said.

That experience has also strengthened Daughtry's leadership ability in the school district.

It's something Hobbton High School theater teacher and longtime friend, Angela Martin, can attest to.

"It always trickles down. So, if you have someone passionate as a leader, you're going to have more people passionate in the building. And that's what really makes a successful school," Martin said.

Daughtry attributes her success and growth to her core beliefs that have always remained the same.

"Never give up. Be what you want to be. Regardless of your age, regardless of the time, if you have a dream, seek it out," Daughtry said.