DORA — Paige Abner has spent the past three decades serving youth in East Walker. The Dora High School principal reflected on her 30-year career last Tuesday and her teachers — the men and …
DORA — Paige Abner has spent the past three decades serving youth in East Walker.
The Dora High School principal reflected on her 30-year career last Tuesday and her teachers — the men and women who inspired her to be an educator — James Ann Martin, Martha LaCroix, Marcia Adkins and Montae Cain.
"Ultimately it was my grandfather that kind of pushed me into college and pushed me into talking to those women and deciding to go into education," Abner said. "I probably watched women even more than I realized back then. I was raised by a strong woman. You see these women that are doing these things, and then when you have a few strong women guiding you, you say, 'Well, maybe I can do that.' So here I am."
Abner started her career in education at Dora High School in 1989, where she taught English and speech. She became assistant principal of Sumiton Elementary/Jr. High School in 2006 after teaching at Dora High for 17 years.
When Abner made the transition to an administrator in 2006, she told the Daily Mountain Eagle, “I’m excited about it. I see it as entering another phase in my life and moving forward and continuing to educate children but doing that in just a little bit different of a way."
She later became principal of Sumiton Elementary in 2011 and came back to Dora High as principal in 2015.
"I've never really gone very far. I've always been in the east Walker County schools, and I've loved it," Abner said. "I love this community. I love the people. I love the people that I've taught and the people that have mentored me here. I'm very blessed."
Earlier this year, Abner's career came full circle when 35 seniors graduated from Dora High School that she had known since they entered kindergarten at Sumiton.
Abner has inspired both of her daughters to have careers in education. Her daughter Kaysen is in her first year of teaching at Parrish Elementary School and her other daughter, Hadley, is a college recruiter.
"They're the lights of my life. They're grown now, and I'm so proud of them," Abner said.
As Abner begins her 30th year in education, she said she is living life to the fullest and happy to still be serving the East Walker community.
"I got my first job here at Dora High School and fell in love," she said. "I had a friend of mine who told me at the time that I would be successful because I am a hard worker, and I thrive on that. I was raised by my parents with a great work ethic, and so I do work hard. I feel very accomplished going into my 30th year."