Wilson leads by example at JHS

Published 4:24 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back at home: New Jemison High School Principal Allen Wilson is a Chilton County native who attended Jemison schools.

Jemison High School principal Allen Wilson has served his country, his family and his native county for many years.

This year, he will serve his alma mater in one of its most important leadership positions.

Wilson was hired as principal at JHS this June. From 49 applicants, the Chilton County Board of Education chose him.

“It really wasn’t something I had always dreamed of,” Wilson said. “The opportunity came along, and I honestly just felt led to apply.”

Wilson grew up in Chilton County, attended Jemison schools, graduated from JHS and spent time after high school keeping stats for the football team.

At age 20, he joined the Marines and served for the next six years.

In 1990, Wilson came back home and worked for several years as a volunteer football coach at Jemison and Calera.

“Like so many others, you have visions of being a small-town hero and coaching,” Wilson said. “Everything was about coaching at that time. I had no idea I would go into the administration.”

Wilson continued his education at Wallace Community College in Selma and then at UAB, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in special education.

He has held full-time teaching positions at Thorsby, Calera and Montevallo schools.

Wilson and his wife, Sherry, have four children: Jordan Holland, 23; Allie Wilson, 16; Anna Wilson, 14; and Gabe Wilson, 11.

At Jemison, Wilson hopes to foster more pride in the school, improve its physical appearance and make sure it is a safe educational environment.

“Our theme for this school year is being accountable toward yourself, your family, school and community,” he said. “If we can simply do that, we will have a quality school.”

Wilson said more than 90 people around the community showed up at JHS recently for a school workday, which included cutting the grass, collecting garbage, cleaning windows and pressure washing.

“They just wanted to do something for the school in general,” he said. “We’ve got our plate full right now. I hope that the students and staff and community will be patient. We’ve got to all hang in there and persevere.”