Jackson Alternative School principal leaves no one unheard

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) – “He is not just some boss. He is not just this guy who is in charge. He is a friend,” said Jackson Alternative School Teacher Leslie Davis. “I can come to him with anything and everything. If I’m having a problem with my students, if I’m having a problem with my personal life, he is always there not just for his students, but for his staff.”

“I’ve seen more kids come back and speak to him in these two years than I have at the other schools I’ve been at,” Jackson Alternative School Assistant Principal Greg Ohler added. “They know that he goes above and beyond for them. So they love coming back and giving him success stories.”

Rex Suggs has been the principal at Jackson Alternative School for ten years and as you just heard right from some of his co-worker’s mouths, he’s much more than just a boss, he’s a friend to all he encounters.

When you talk to Suggs himself, when it comes to his students, nothing is more important than building relationships.

“I’ve always looked at it this way, whether I taught them or whether I was their principal or not,” said Suggs. “Establishing that relationship with that kid, that positive relationship with that kid, just speaking to them as I walk by, shaking their hand, dapping them up, high-fiving them. Whatever it may be, was critical, probably the most important thing you could do as an educator, if you want the truth about it.”

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Suggs does more than look after and bond with the kids.

He works tirelessly to build strong connections with his staff members and ensure they all feel appreciated and valued.

“There are some teachers that are at this school because of Mr. Suggs, and he treats everybody fairly,” Ohler went on to say. “I don’t care what title you have here, custodian, lunch worker, maintenance, teacher, para pro, guidance. He’s probably one of the most fairest people that I know.”

“Suggs was there for me whenever I thought I was going to quit teaching, he made me stay,” Davis said. “He has made me feel appreciated and valued, and he tells me this, he tells me these things. If he appreciates you and the hard work that you’re doing, he makes time to tell you and let you know.”

Even after all his years in education, Suggs still comes into work with the same excitement he had in his first years.

“This school has been a blessing in my life. This is my calling. This school, these kids, this challenge, is what I was meant to do,” Suggs concluded.

That is why Rex Suggs is a Class Act.

If there is someone who you think is a Class Act don’t hesitate and nominate them today.

Janitors, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers are all eligible for this award.

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