We are incredibly proud to announce that our very own Destiny McCullough, current assistant principal at Smilow Collegiate, will join our network team as the Network Director of Student Supports. Destiny sat down with our Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, Megan Cole, to share a bit about herself and what makes her excited for this role.
Congratulations Destiny! This is so exciting. I know you’ve been with RePublic a few years and people would love to hear more about those roles.
Thank you! Yes, I’ve had the pleasure of viewing RePublic through different windows. I first joined the network as a student supports teacher at Smilow Prep. That is a role where I worked directly with our scholars receiving special education services in the classroom. I then transitioned to being a dean at Smilow Collegiate and I am now the assistant principal leading our third grade team.
Those are all such important roles. Speaking of roles, what roles did you have before joining RePublic?
Before my RePublic life, I was a general elementary school teacher and an inclusion teacher meaning that I worked with scholars receiving special education services in general education classrooms. I was also an elementary and middle school special education specialist and a director of special education at a high school. These roles each gave me a different perspective and helped me see how important all members of a scholar’s services team are.
“McCullough has a background in special education and has the heart to service our most vulnerable population. She also has pre-K-12 experience and will make a strong impact on our student supports program network wide. In having this experience, she will be able to establish a true identity for our network’s student support program. McCullough is an active listener and will benefit not only the staff that she will service, but scholars and families.” – Kia Prude, Principal of Smilow Collegiate
Wow you’ve had experience at all levels supporting scholars who receive special education services. So knowing that you could’ve taken this wealth of experience anywhere, why RePublic?
When my family decided to relocate from California to Mississippi, I was determined to find an organization that connected to my purpose of service and justice. I found that RePublic is determined to work with populations that have been historically discounted. RePublic also seeks to equip them with tools and the freedom to advocate, think critically, make mistakes, and be compassionate.
Speaking of populations who have historically been discounted, I know that people have often counted scholars who receive special education services out. What drew you to work in student supports?
I am an advocate for those who are overlooked, ostracized, silenced and misunderstood. These are the folks who often have the greatest potential. They deserve to work with people who will see the best in them and will challenge them to reach their goals.
“McCullough can play any role in a school environment because she recognizes the need for the whole child. She is a wife, mom, and an incredible inspiring student from Jackson Public Schools. When she approaches the work, she not only looks for best outcomes for scholars, but also ensures that the staff are prepared to produce the best results alongside scholars. Finally, McCullough is ever evolving. She constantly looks for and finds ways to lean into her strengths to support the overall vision and mission of a school and/or organization.” – Lynzie Smith, Principal of Smilow Prep
I couldn’t agree more. Along the lines of challenges and goals, what about this role has you most excited?
I’m excited about working with our teams in Jackson and Nashville to discover new ways to unlock our scholars’ potential. I’m also excited about seeing the impact that this will have on scholars and their community.
Speaking of community, what do you want our scholars’ families to know about you as you take on this role?
I want our families to know that they’ve made the right choice. Being with a RePublic school means that opportunities for their scholars in life will become abundant. We’re working together to ensure that we provide tools for success.