It is with great excitement that we welcome Oregonian Erica Briggs as the principal of our New Columbia campus. Ms. Briggs holds a Master’s degree from Cornell University and brings over 10 years of experience as a lead administrator who has helped develop and manage educational programs designed to support and engage students. She has a broad range of experiences in the areas of curriculum development, instructional coaching, and school leadership. Ms. Briggs spent the last 4 years in South Carolina coordinating leadership development programs.
The following Q&A will help you get to know our newest RAHS principal better!
- What excites you most about the students at RAHS New Columbia and about being the new principal?
It’s an honor to follow the steps of the previous principal, Lanya McClintock. Lanya set the stage beautifully and I’m really looking forward to continuing to build a setting where the characters of our school can perform with excellence. The young scholars at New Columbia represent the promise that despite tribulations, success is not only possible but an expectation that can be met! They have the passion and the strong will to push them forward, and that coupled with the caring staff that work together with parents and community partners, both in school and out of the classroom, makes it very clear that everyone is here for the right reasons. I am thrilled to be part of this dynamic movement.
- What activities were you involved with in high school, and where did you graduate?
I was like many of the students with whom I serve here at Rosemary Anderson High School. I went to three different high schools, and my activities weren’t always positive. By my senior year, however, I got it together, and thanks to an awesome guidance counselor, I started thinking, for the first time in my life, that college was a real option. I graduated from North Eugene High School and started college at University of Oregon. Things weren’t easy; I struggled through some major transitions, like single parenthood, but eventually I graduated with a bachelor’s in Communications with a minor in ethnic studies from Mills College in Oakland, California. I later went on to attend graduate school at Cornell University studying the social construction of race in America.
- What did you miss most about Oregon when you were living elsewhere?
I missed the color green. I didn’t realize how integral trees and diversity of plant life were to my sense of peace, especially during times of turmoil. I missed camping by rivers that you can get into without worrying about water moccasins and alligators. And I missed my family which is why I moved back; aside from my faith in God, I believe family is everything.