Rhonda Daye is the assistant principal at North Elementary School, a role to which she brings a robust education. Along with being raised in the Person County School system, she has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Technology Education, and a Career and Technology Education Director Licensure, all from North Carolina A&T State University. She adds to that a School Administration Licensure from North Carolina Central University and an Educational Specialist Licensure from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently she is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from UNCG. Her story teaches us that education opens doors.
Q) What was your upbringing like in Person County?
A) I was educated in Person County Schools until my 11th grade year. I attended elementary school at North Elementary, middle school at Northern Junior High School and then Person Senior High School. I moved to Durham, NC and attended school there my 11th and 12th grade years, but I can truly say that Person County is the true meaning of home. Home is a place of belonging, a place where you are loved, respected and most importantly, an enjoyable place where you live to the fullest and learn the most. I can say that my upbringing in Person County provided this for me. Both of my parents were raised in Person County so the roots run deep and provide a solid foundation for me. Even though I ventured from Person County for college and employment early on in my career, this is the only home I’ve known. Due to its values and the rich connection to our roots, my husband and I decided to raise our family here in Person County.
Q) What is your career path and what are your proudest achievements?
A) I would have to begin by saying my career in Education is not what I was educated to do when I initially went to college, but it is definitely what I was destined to do. As an educator, I feel that I have taken the knowledge that I have gained and turned that knowledge into skills that allow me to educate others. I take heed to Thomas Jefferson’s statement, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them.”
As an educational leader, I believe that every child deserves the best education that is available to them. Education is one of the most important entities to allow any individual to function and perform in our society. An individual is completely affected by the education that is given to her or him. I work hard to see that the type of education provided is one that is universal and equitable. In my career as an educational leader, I seek to demonstrate the core values of courage, integrity and ethic of care. I strive to make the greatest impact possible as a catalyst in the community who continues to push students to go above and beyond expectations.
Q) What organizations or community endeavors do you participate in?
A) I am an active member of several different organizations that are committed to serving the different needs of the community. I’m a member of Union Grove Baptist Church in Hurdle Mills, I’m a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and I sit on the Advisory Board for the Roxboro branch of the NC State Employees Credit Union. Also I’m the former advisor for the Person High School chapter of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).
Q) Why is it important that women be recognized for their foundational work in our community and our nation?
A) It is extremely important for women to be acknowledged and recognized for their contributions because the recognition produces knowledge—in everything we must obtain knowledge. The knowledge of women’s contributions throughout history becomes our teacher and provides some important groundwork for other women and young girls as they strive to make impactful contributions in the world.
Q) What do you envision for the future of Person County?
A) My vision for Person County can be stated by using the quote, “to educate is to take seriously both the quest for life’s meaning and the meaning of individual lives”. Barriers which bring out inequalities in education should be eliminated and relevance and responsiveness has to be in the forefront of student learning. I would like to see Person County be conducive to all regardless of internal or external factors that are present in individuals’ lives and to amplify a continued sense of community.
Q) What is your advice for girls and young women who look to you as motivation?
A) Dream big...No dream is too big to achieve. Pray over those dreams and have the faith that you will be placed on the right path to achieve that which you are destined to have. As you are dreaming and praying, encourage yourself, believe in yourself and love yourself. At times you will have to be your own cheerleader, but gravitate to those people who will motivate you, support you, and be the wind that is needed beneath your wings. As you are progressing in life, the road will get hard at times and you will be thrown off your course, but you have to stop, refocus, and remember your dreams. Never give up!