Double Churches Elementary in Columbus celebrates retiring school principal

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Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:59 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It’s not every day that you hear of a school principal who goes out of her way to meet the needs of everyone in the building, including students, teachers, staff and parents.

However, a Columbus principal was celebrated today by many as she kicked off her retirement.

“There is only one Paula Shaw Powell, and she has arrived, and I want you all to give her one of those Wildcat welcomes.”

This morning, Double Churches Elementary School held a retirement celebration fit for a queen.

By the display of love shown to Principal Paula Shaw Powell during a surprise parade at the school, it is evident that she is one of the most beloved principals in Muscogee County.

Students and teachers sent her off in a grand style with a dance performance by teachers and music from the Kendrick High School band.

From paying students’ lunch, cleaning bathrooms, and greeting students in the frigid cold while they enter the building, Shaw-Powell is most known for going above and beyond to help anyone in her school.

Some of her former employees told us why Shaw-Powell deserved the celebration and much more.

Shaw-Powell’s former administrative assistant for 15 years, Beverly Smith said, “She had a lunch account so the kids could eat off her account. She would tell the cafeteria manager no child will come through here and not eat a meal.”

“It’s important to be careful to make sure we said, I wish I had this for my classroom because she would make it happen,” expressed Rachel Woods, a former Double Churches Elementary School fifth grade teacher.

“She called me on the phone, gave me her credit card and paid for me to take the test to become high qualified,” added Robyn Robison, another former educator at Double Churches Elementary.

After more than 40 years in education and 17 of those as principal of Double Churches Elementary, Paula Shaw-Powell will be retiring in June.

She says her only goal was to make learning fun and that’s what she did at DCE.

Their motto is once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.

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