Stories from the South Side: A South Madison Native Takes Over at Wright Middle School
by Alex Lee, age 14, Pallav Regmi, age 13
As we Simpson Street Free Press reporters walked through the doors of Wright Middle School, we were thrilled and nervous to meet the former assistant principal of Hamilton Middle School, Dr. Angie Crawford. We are both former students of hers when she was assistant principal. Walking down the wide halls, we noticed many artworks done by students. On one side of the hall, we noticed an article about President Obama visiting the school's library, which really impressed us. As we continued down the halls, we finally arrived at Dr. Crawford's new, larger office, where she sat waiting for us.
Dr. Angie Crawford was born and raised on the south side of Madison. After graduating from West High School she thought at the time she wanted to be an accountant. However, after the birth of her first daughter in 1989, which ended her time in the military, Dr. Crawford realized her purpose. . She returned to Madison in 1990 to become a teacher. She started as a custodian and eventually became a tutor coordinator. Dr. Crawford taught as a teacher at Whitehorse Middle School and later at Emerson Elementary School. Her first job as a vice principal was at Sherman Middle in 2005 and she continued her administrative work at Hamilton Middle in 2007. She earned her doctorate degree in May 2011. Shortly after that, she was named principal at Wright Middle School.
Dr. Crawford told us she joined the education profession to help make a difference in the Madison community. She has clear, high expectations for students. Her goals for her new school are to create great citizens and scholars for the future. Overall, she wants to produce students who are strong representations of the man who inspired the name of the school, James C. Wright. She hopes to reach this goal by showing enthusiasm and speaking words of wisdom to motivate students in the morning announcements.
Dr. Crawford believes that going to school is an essential part of being a productive person when you get older. She plans to create intellectual students, but it cannot be done if they do not set goals for themselves and transform themselves from students into scholars. When Dr. Crawford decided that making a difference in her community would be a part of her life, she made her passion for education the avenue.
After many years of being a supporter of students, she found former students returning to thank her for her dedication to their success. This drives her to continue her career and renews her love for her job. Dr. Crawford’s former students, above all, appreciate the lessons of life she distributes to her students. “The value and joy I get when a kid gets it and becomes an independent thinker is like winning the lottery,” says Dr. Crawford.
Dr. Crawford faced many problems in her life that were very similar to the problems students face as children and teens; trash-talking, fighting and peer pressure. She considers all of these problems an obstacle that she overcame and learned from in order to become who she is now. She has accomplished her dreams and she is happy she is able to take care of herself and family, which is her definition of successful. Many people have tried to stop Dr. Crawford from following her passion but she refused to listen to them. Her belief is that this will happen to everyone. “Haters will come, but you will succeed if you don’t listen to them and believe in yourself.”
As many people do, Dr. Crawford still faces some challenges at the workplace. She finds it difficult when teachers hold students to certain expectations, but do not have those same standards for themselves. As an administrator, it is her job to lead by example and show teachers that they too, must work within a system to reach a higher goal. By not following those rules, teachers do a disservice to themselves, but more importantly to the students.
Dr. Angie Crawford is a driven person that hopes to make Wright Middle School a school that not only teaches students good academics, but also life lessons that they can absorb to help them become better people. She firmly holds the ideal that, “Education for school is education for life.” She wants to make sure her new school remains an important and effective part of the south Madison community.