Elizabeth Dock of Gautier has been named as the Administrator of the Year for the Pascagoula-Gautier School District (PGSD).
Dock, who is currently in her sixth year as Principal at Arlington Elementary, previously served as Principal at Trent Lott Academy for two years and as Assistant Principal at William Comer Middle School for four years.
She obtained an associate’s degree in elementary education and child development/child care from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; a bachelor’s degree in elementary education; a specialist’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi; and a master’s degree in elementary education from William Carey College.
Being principal affords Dock opportunities to help children and to influence the lives of others in a positive way.
“I feel that I bring a strong work ethic and a love for helping children and adults to be successful. Children and adults need someone who has a genuine love for them and who is willing to continue to strive for success, no matter how difficult it may seem,” Dock said.
Prior to becoming principal, Dock was a teacher for nine years – at East Park Elementary and Kreole Elementary in the Moss Point School District and at Eastlawn Elementary in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. She taught a variety of subjects across multiple grades – third and fourth grades (all subjects); fourth, fifth, and sixth grades (reading, language arts, social studies); and was a Certified Reading Tutor/Specialist for all grades.
As a teacher, her main focus was on making sure her students were engaged and learning. She also focused on their academic growth and building relationships with the students and their families so that they would have a good year of learning and growing.
As principal, her focus for students is basically the same but isn’t limited to just the students.
“For staff and faculty, the focus is on growth in knowledge of educating children and building relationships with students, families, community, and each other. I focus on growing my teachers to be teacher leaders and building a culture of family at my school.”
Dock’s favorite part about teaching was the teaching – she loved doing engaging and interesting lessons and activities with her students. And there were also the challenges of making sure all her students got everything they needed to be successful.
As far as being principal, her favorite part about that is the interaction with her students.
“I love talking with them, learning, laughing, and especially the hugs. I love when they tell me they’ve had a great day. But most challenging is having a student who needs so much help, but who doesn’t have the best home environment, and knowing that there is only so much I can do. It hurts to see a child suffering when they have no control over what happens to them.”
Dock was nominated for the award by a panel of leaders from the District office level. As Administrator of the Year, she received a plaque during a recognition ceremony held by the District. She then submitted an application to the State Board of Education to compete for Mississippi Administrator of the Year. Additionally, she received $1000 added to her budget at Arlington Elementary.
Dock is humbled to be named PGSD Administrator of the Year.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected Administrator of the Year. The hard work and effort that my team and I have put forth for a number of years has been recognized and I am happy about that. We have brought Arlington from a low-performing school (D and F ratings) to a high-performing school. We have been rated an A school for two years in a row.”
Dock has four children – Briana, 27, Destinee, 25, Ajante, 18, and Kenya, and one grandson, Zane. She has three dogs – Marleigh, Peanut, and James.