ST. FRANCISVILLE — If there’s one thing Jim Carroll learned after 22 years in the Air Force, it’s that a leader is only as good as the people who surround him.
That’s why West Feliciana High School’s principal was quick to share the credit with those around him for playing a big role as Carroll was named Louisiana’s 2016 High School Principal of the Year.
“It’s an awesome honor,” Carroll said. “I think it’s more a reflection of the great school system we have and the amazing teachers, staff and amazing students. It’s a reflection of what we’ve built over the years. The best thing I can say is I didn’t mess it up.”
Carroll was among the educators recognized at the ninth annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration on July 11 in Baton Rouge. The event was sponsored by the Department of Education; Dream Teachers, a nonprofit group that promotes educational excellence; and the Louisiana Association of Principals. The winners were picked by a panel of educators and community leaders.
“This was a great honor for WFHS, as well as Mr. Carroll,” Superintendent Hollis Milton said. “WFHS has had a strong history of academic excellence, and Mr. Carroll has done a great job of continuing the tradition.
“Mr. Carroll’s accomplishment will bring more accolades for our school system, which will help us to recruit high-quality teachers and expand partnerships to bring new programs for the benefit of our students.”
Carroll is beginning his fifth year as principal of WFHS after teaching math for nine years. Prior to that, he retired after 22 years in the Air Force, where he trained pilots for 14 years. When his Air Force career was over, he decided to go into education, rather than becoming a pilot for an airline because he enjoyed teaching and he didn’t like being away from home.
He took the advice of former Superintendent Lloyd Lindsey and earned his teaching certificate. He taught math at Baker High School for three years before joining the faculty at WFHS. Carroll also was named a teacher of the year at Baker and high school teacher of the year at West Feliciana.
“I’m looking forward to the new year, and we’ll have some new challenges,” Carroll said. He and his wife Deanie have two children, Joshua and Erin, and three grandchildren.