Epperson named principal of Cord-Charlotte Elementary

By Lisa Burnett Published August 22, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
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Lisa Burnett / Three Rivers Edition

Susi Epperson, the new principal of Cord-Charlotte Elementary School, said she looks forward to her first year at the school, which houses kindergartners through sixth-graders. Epperson grew up in the Charlotte area and is excited to see what the school year holds.

— Susi Epperson, a native of the Cedar Ridge area, is excited about her new title as principal of Cord-Charlotte Elementary School.

Epperson has been the Cedar Ridge School District’s grant writer, along with holding the title of school health coordinator for the district. She was hired as Cord-Charlotte principal on Aug. 8.

“Education has always been in my family,” she said. “It’s just what I’ve known.”

Epperson said her father was a superintendent, and many of her family members are teachers.

“I love kids,” she said.

Before becoming the district’s grant writer, Epperson taught junior-high English in Batesville and was the principal at Rose Bud High School.

“I left there to come back home,” Epperson said.

She is an alumna of Midland High School.

“This is my first year as an elementary principal, but this is a unique school,” she said.

Cord-Charlotte Elementary School houses kindergartners through sixth-graders and has only one teacher per grade.

“It’s very homey,” the new principal said. “I’m going to know every kid.”

Cord-Charlotte Elementary has about 125 children enrolled for the 2013-2014 school year.

She said that when she taught and was an administrator at the larger schools, she didn’t know the students on a personal level like she anticipates she will at Cord-Charlotte.

“When I came over [to Cord-Charlotte], I saw that the teachers really care,” Epperson said. “There’s a lot of pride in that.”

Though she will now work at the elementary school, she said, she will still act as the school’s grant writer and school health coordinator.

“I’m still going to write all of the grants,” she said. “It brings me a lot of joy.”

With her grant-writing title, Epperson said, she is able to see teachers get the supplies they need for their classrooms, which creates a better learning environment for the students.

In addition to grant writing, Epperson’s school-health-coordinator title also gives her the opportunity to help students in need. She’s in charge of getting supplies and basic needs, such as food and clothing, to students in the district who need those items.

“If kids aren’t healthy, they can’t learn,” Epperson said.

She said her grant-writing and school-health-coordinator positions coincide when she applies for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant every year.

This grant represents the primary source of federal funding for programs serving people experiencing homelessness, according to the grant’s website.

“We get $30,000 a year [for the district],” she said.

This money pays for food, clothing, Christmas gifts, graduation supplies and prom attire for homeless or needy students in the district.

When the prom rolls around, Epperson said, everyone in the district works together to make this one of the most exciting times for students who normally wouldn’t be able to participate because of lack of funds.

“Everyone gets so excited,” she said.

Epperson said she looks forward to adding “principal of Cord-Charlotte Elementary School” to her job title.

“I’m really excited to be here,” she said.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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