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Vol. 3, No. 2 = No. 7 (2000 Summer)

Scarlett Leads the Schoolhouse: Does Being Southern Matter?

  • Anna T. Hicks
June 21, 2017


I was born and fastidiously bred in the heart of James Dickey's South. I did all the right Southern white middle class things: music, art, and dancing lessons; professional tips on hair and makeup; a brief stint (though unsuccessful) with high school beauty pageants; acquisition of the right Junior League Cookbooks; a proper finishing at a Southern undergraduate school for women and entrance into the teaching profession. But then, I broke the rules, entered school administration, and became my school district's first female high school principal, a four-year experience I detailed in a 1996 publication Speak Softly and Carry Your Own Gym Key: a Female High School Principal's Guide to Survival. Last year, at a journaling workshop, I explored my life experience and became intrigued with how being born and bred in the Deep South might have influenced my experience as a female high school principal.