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  • Tarvis Thompson-Pace

Staff Spotlight: Meet Ms. Allen

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

Learn about the people who make LRES such a great place! Our first spotlight of the year is our Interim Principal, Ms. Allen.

During the second semester of the 2021-2022 school year, Ms. Joy Allen was assigned interim principal of Laurel Ridge. Since then, Ms. Allen has continued to work tirelessly on behalf of our school by listening to community concerns and promoting an environment where students, faculty, and staff can thrive. With attention given to the pandemic and ending the previous school year on a positive note, we never officially introduced Ms. Allen. Luckily, she has carved out time in her busy schedule to answer a few questions that will help us learn more about who she is as a school leader and as a person. Meet Principal Allen!

1. What have you learned about the resiliency of grade school students over the past few years?

Students are more resilient than we think. Most students have the ability to bounce back from obstacles and move forward. It is a necessary skill for coping with life's inevitable obstacles and a skill that is learned early in life.

2. Tell us a little about your career- where did you attend college and teach before becoming a principal?

​I attended Georgia State University on a basketball scholarship for undergraduate. Initially, I was working toward a physical therapist degree and then changed to education. I completed my master's degree at the University of North Georgia. Before retiring in 2014, I worked 32 years in the DeKalb County School System. I have taught in elementary, middle, and high schools. I spent 5 years as an assistant principal at Chamblee Middle School and then 12 years as the principal at Henderson Middle School.

3. What subjects and skills are important for anyone who wants to pursue a career as a school principal?

​I believe to be a successful principal you need strong communication skills. You need to be able to lead and bring all community members together for the betterment of the school. A principal should be able to lead, guide, listen, make tough decisions, be passionate about the school/community, and have compassion for others.

4. What do you like to do for fun?

​For fun I enjoy playing golf, pickleball, reading, and riding my E-bike.

5. You just won a round-trip ticket to anyplace in the world. Where are you going and why?

I would choose to travel to Santorini, Greece. I would love to see the beauty of the Greek islands.

6. If you could have a conversation from any person throughout history, who would that person be and what would you talk to them about?

Mother Teresa - We would talk about her effective leadership skills, including caring, confidence, determination, motivation, and inspiring.

7. What have you learned about the Laurel Ridge community since you joined?

​Laurel Ridge is a small, tight knit community that cares about the voices of all stakeholders. The community is made up of tireless workers that will do what is best for their children.

8. Finish this sentence: A talent I wish I had is to be able to draw and be more artistic.

Questions or comments for Ms. Allen? Reach out to our LRES Interim Principal at

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