DOBSON — Each year, Surry County Schools holds a catered dinner to say goodbye to its retiring employees. This year, however, the district loses one of its key pieces in the central office.
On Wednesday night, the Surry County Board of Education bid a fond farewell to Sonia Dickerson as she prepares to retire at the end of the month while welcoming a principal to the Dobson office to take over those duties.
Dickerson has the lengthy title of director of communications, instructional media, and teacher quality.
She has served students and teachers in North Carolina for 31 years. She began her career in two neighboring districts as a junior high English teacher and then a school media coordinator before spending the past 20 years in Surry County as a technology specialist, curriculum specialist and teacher quality coordinator before receiving her final title.
Surry County Schools has announced that beginning July 1 Dr. Tracey Lewis will take over all official communications duties, along with teacher recruitment and retention, for the district.
Serving in different capacities throughout her career has given Dickerson the opportunity to touch the lives of both students and adults. Dickerson is highly respected for her contributions to the Surry County Schools district and her kindness and enthusiasm has greatly influenced district culture and day-to-day operations.
“I have been fortunate to know and work with Sonia Dickerson for several years,” said Dr. Travis Reeves, SCS superintendent.
”During our time together, she always exhibited professionalism, dedication, and a positive attitude that is contagious. I will miss Mrs. Dickerson’s leadership and dedication to Surry County Schools. Her level of professionalism is outstanding; however, her greatest gift is her ability to connect with staff and students and encourage people to be themselves.
“Mrs. Dickerson is recognized across North Carolina as a leader in her field and is highly regarded by her colleagues. She has won many state level awards for her work in North Carolina Public School Relations. She is a valuable member of the Surry County School System family and everyone will miss her. We wish her the best in her retirement and appreciate all she has done for the students and staff.”
Dickerson has received numerous statewide communications awards from the N.C. School Public Relations Association including the coveted Best of the Best Award in 2017.
Lewis began her educational career in Guilford County Schools as a school counselor at Guilford Middle School in 1997.
She returned home to Surry County in 1999, serving as the school counselor at Flat Rock Elementary for two years before beginning her administrative tenure. Lewis served in a variety of roles over her 14-year administrative career, including assistant principal and principal of Westfield Elementary, principal of Shoals Elementary, principal of Flat Rock Elementary, and most recently, principal of Pilot Mountain Middle for the past four years.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration and Political Science from Elon University, a Master of Science and Specialist in Education Degrees in Counseling and Educational Development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master of Arts in School Administration from Gardner-Webb University, and the Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from the UNC Greensboro.
Her focus throughout her career has always been to serve families and children by helping students gain the competencies needed to develop a positive self-image, strong interpersonal skills, and a solid academic foundation for success.
“I look forward to this opportunity to serve Surry County Schools by continuing to build upon the solid foundation Mrs. Dickerson has laid for such a comprehensive communications program,” said Lewis. “I am also excited about the opportunity to continue supporting schools and students through serving beginning teachers as part of the teacher recruitment and retention aspects of my new role.”
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.