A Second Home

Principal Wilkes poses with graduating seniors at the 2020 graduation. Taken from Wilkess twitter handle, @WilkesNGHS

Principal Wilkes poses with graduating seniors at the 2020 graduation. Taken from Wilkes’s twitter handle, @WilkesNGHS

Carrie Ann Mundy, Staff Writer

Northgate has gone through some major changes in the past year. New students, renovations, and a new principal! Mrs. Wilkes has been with us for 7 years, and she has many plans for this school already. She stepped up to her new role and responsibilities sooner than expected and at an earlier time than a principal should. But what are a principal’s responsibilities? A principal is responsible for facilities, construction, making sure the classrooms run smoothly, and even things like making sure there are no spiders or leaks in the school. Normally, a new principal would start these duties in July. With the tornado disaster happening in Newnan, Mr. Kesselring had to step up to his role as the new Coweta County Director of Safety in March. This is when the school found out that Mrs. Ashley Wilkes was our new principal. Everyone was so excited because she has done amazing things as an assistant principal, and the school can’t wait to see what she does as the principal in her first year. Mrs. Wilkes will be an amazing new principal for Northgate–there’s no doubt about that. She’s going to make this school the best it can be. 

 

Mrs. Wilkes’s Goals for Northgate

Mrs. Wilkes is very goal-oriented; she plans to make this school the best in the state and she shared some of her long and short term goals to do so. Some of the changes she has made around the school are evident, and the students are here for it; she wants her students to succeed! Some of the changes she wants to see at Northgate are improvements to the building, school spirit, and getting the students more involved! According to Wilkes, “The renovations will help make this school look more like a college campus and more updated,” she says, “I’d like to do anything in my power to make Northgate an enjoyable place-somewhere students want to come.” She’s made new “tailgating” or hangout spots around the football field for students and families to chill and have fun before, during, and/or after the games. She hopes that this will raise school spirit which will help kids to love Northgate. Some of Mrs. Wilkes’s short-term goals for the school are to, “make the students feel as comfortable as possible, to be able to get back to some form of normalcy. [She] hope[s] to make Northgate a family again.” Her long-term goals are to make Northgate one of the top 10 schools in Georgia.  As of right now, Northgate is #2,394 in National Rankings, #57 in Georgia High Schools, #46 in Atlanta, GA Metro Area High Schools, and #1 in Coweta County High Schools. She believes that we could be the best because, “we have some of the smartest and most creative students around,” she says. 

 

Balancing Work/Personal Life

Mrs. Wilkes has two children, Lucy Kate and Jack.  But how can she handle being the school principal and being a mom for an 8 year old and a 3 year old? Her oldest, Lucy Kate, and her youngest, Jack are also very involved with Northgate and come to the football games with her. She says, “ I try the best I can to balance my family with my work here. I take Lucy Kate to cheer practice and when I come home, I spend time with Jack by jumping on the trampoline with him or doing something he enjoys. They love Northgate too, it’s easy to bring them here as it’s so family friendly.” She does an amazing job at keeping Northgate family friendly even by letting the elementary kids come to stay with their parents when they get off school at 2:30. It is evident that Mrs. Wilkes  loves Northgate, and that’s why she is going to keep working hard everyday to make this school the best it can be for many years to come. 

Principal Wilkes poses with graduating seniors at the 2020 graduation. Taken from Wilkes’s twitter handle, @WilkesNGHS