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Hartselle Enquirer

Losing a lifelong learner

Dr. Nancy Horton will retire as Hartselle City Schools Assistant Superintendent July 1. | Joy Haynes
Dr. Nancy Horton will retire as Hartselle City Schools Assistant Superintendent July 1. | Joy Haynes

Horton retires as assistant superintendent

Hartselle City Schools is losing more than just their assistant superintendent July 1.

They are losing a lifelong learner and educator who is excited about and dedicated to the achievement of students.

Dr. Nancy Horton has been in education for the past 41 years and spent the last eight years as Hartselle’s assistant superintendent. She spent 28 years in the classroom as a chemistry and AP biology teacher in the Cullman County School System before becoming a counselor and eventually moving into the central office.

She was elected to the office of the Cullman County schools superintendent, which she held for four years before finding her home in Hartselle’s school system.

“I have absolutely loved my time spent in Hartselle,” Horton said. “I can’t express enough how much this system has meant to me for the last eight years. It has wonderful teachers and administrators who are giving their best to their students.”

HCS plans to create two positions out of Horton’s job description. Horton oversaw curriculum, resources, state and federal compliances, periodical state department accreditation and monitoring, board policies and procedure, teacher professional development and much more.

Horton said she is very proud of the role she played in resource development.

“I have worked hard to get our teachers not only the hardware and devices they need to better educate students but also the training in how to utilize that technology,” Horton said. “I feel like if our teachers know there is someone working hard on their best interests, then they will in turn work hard on the best interests of the students. I did everything I could to provide them with the best resources possible, but there are still types of technology I would like to see implemented.”

Horton also enjoyed her role with the curriculum.

“I am also proud of our increased curriculum offerings,” Horton said. “We have more AP classes than when I started here, and we are seeing higher test scores. I feel like I’m a part of that, and it makes the job fulfilling.”

Horton helped write grants for both the preschool classes and after-school program. She also helped the high school get the A+ College Ready grant for AP students.

Besides making academic achievements, Horton also wants her students to learn life lessons.

“Especially when I was in the classroom, I felt it was my moral obligation to treat each child fairly, which included teaching them important lessons about life as well as science,” Horton said. “I get to spend almost as much or more time with them as their parents do, and I want to make sure I’m influencing them to become lifelong learners and educated citizens.”

Horton had a few goals she would like to see HCS obtain.

“I have a goal of systematically increasing student achievement at Hartselle,” Horton said. “We want to give the high achievers more opportunity to excel while still supporting and enriching the lower achievers to success. It’s a fine balance, especially when you try to help the average students achieve more as well. It takes focus and persistence. We can’t get complacent, because good is the enemy of great.”

Horton said she plans to keep busy in her retirement.

“My husband is a retired varsity basketball coach of 40 years, and we plan on doing some traveling in our retirement,” Horton said. “We are also very active at First Methodist Church in Hanceville where I teach Bible classes and sing in the choir. Both of us are members of civic organizations, and I plan to write a book on raising a blended family in this mixed up world. My husband and I married in 1985 with two kids of our own, so I wanted to pass on my experiences of raising both his kids and her kids.”

Horton said she will definitely miss her coworkers once she is no longer working in the central office, and her coworkers have said they would miss her as well.

“She is going to be missed terribly around here,” said administrative assistant Jan Byrd. “She was a leader in a lot of different areas, and it’s going to be hard to adjust without her. She really cares about the students, teachers and the system, so she deserves this retirement.”

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