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Five Questions with North Side principal

Brandon Paykamian • Jun 15, 2019 at 5:15 PM

Dr. Sharon Pickering, principal of North Side Elementary School, says she will always work with children in some way or another. 

Pickering has worked within Johnson City Schools since the 1990s at Woodland and North Side elementary schools. These days, the ETSU alumna and Bristol native has been continuing her work to put Johnson City’s students first. 

Pickering recently emailed the Johnson City Press to tell us more about herself, her work as an educator and experience with the local school system. 

Pickering Briefly: 

Hobbies: Beekeeping, reading and traveling

Interests: Church and football

Favorite food: “Dad’s country ham, biscuits and gravy.” 

Dogs or cats: “Dogs – always.” 

Pet peeves: “Hearing someone eat.” 

What brought you to work with Johnson City Schools?

I have been honored to work with a school system that always puts students’ needs first. Johnson City Schools is progressive and supportive of teachers, students and families.

How has your experience been working within the local system? 

Johnson City Schools has the capacity to build leaders and excellence within its employees. As a teacher, I had multiple opportunities to build a skill set to later support my decision to become a principal. I have learned to be a better listener in all situations and view from multiple perspectives for the best interests of students.

What qualities do you think someone working within the school system should have? 

Employees of Johnson City Schools are forward-thinking, flexible, passionate and compassionate for students and families. We are supportive and challenging to one another for the success of students.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges in schools today? 

Schools today have the challenge to meet the needs of an ever-changing society. Transiency and familial traumatic events cause chronic stress in children that they bring to schools. Johnson City Schools provides a support system of trained professionals in Mental Health to educate teachers/staff and guide students on their journey.

Who is your biggest inspiration in life? 

My biggest inspiration in life would be the students I’ve worked, learned and struggled with in my career. My husband and biggest fan, James Pickering. My parents, Carl and Faye Durham and in-laws Jim and Pat Pickering will forever inspire me. Their work ethic and compassionate support for humankind are my foundation.

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