06/14/10 — A leader, a friend: Tommy's Road principal's legacy is the lives she has changed.

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A leader, a friend: Tommy's Road principal's legacy is the lives she has changed.

Patsy Faison deserves a rest.

After 44 years in education -- and more than a decade as a principal of elementary-school-age students -- she has had her hands full.

But as she leaves her post at Tommy's Road Elementary School, she can rest assured, she has made a difference.

Mrs. Faison has the reputation for not only standing for no nonsense in her school, but also for being a compassionate leader who nourishes possibilities in every child she meets. And those are qualities that makes a principal not just great, but extraordinary.

Tommy's Road will go on without her -- schools always do.

But there is no question that Mrs. Faison has left her mark not only on the staff and parents she has met along the way, but on the thousands of children whose lives she has influenced.

In today's world, there are many children who do not come from idyllic home environments. They might be facing poverty, divorce or one of the many other challenges that come with life in the year 2010.

They need a place where they can relax, where they can aspire to be something, where they can find an ear or a shoulder to cry on, where they can get the discipline they need to make the right choices.

And that is never more important than in elementary school.

Mrs. Faison has been more than a principal to the children at Tommy's Road. She has been a role model, a confidante, a best friend and a cheerleader.

She has been what they needed for 10 years.

And there is no higher compliment than that.

Published in Editorials on June 14, 2010 10:31 AM