Wendy Jacobs is the new principal at North Augusta Elementary school – just 1.9 miles from North Augusta Middle School, where she held the same position.

“I loved being at North Augusta Middle School, but I wanted to get into elementary school and work with younger kids,” said Jacobs, a North Augusta native.

She described the town as a close-knit community and a great place to grow up. Perhaps her favorite teacher was first-grade teacher Sarah Jones, who was “one of those loving, nurturing teachers.” To her delight, her son Owen, now 21, was placed in Jones’ class, too. That gave Jacobs a chance to visit her former teacher’s classroom as a mom.

Other classic, small-town events would emerge, too. Jacobs attended Paul Knox Middle School and later returned as a sixth-grade teacher. Some of her former teachers were still there, and as a student, she had always put them on a pedestal. As a new educator at that time, she worked with them from a new perspective.

“When I came back to Paul Knox, my mentor was Andrea Pearson, one of my own teachers,” Jacobs said. “Once I got to North Augusta Middle as an assistant principal, she was teaching there.”

Jacobs graduated from the College of Charleston as an elementary education major. With an interest in administration, she would later receive a master’s degree in elementary education and supervision in 1998. After teaching first grade at Augusta Prep, Jacobs served as the preschool director at Grace Methodist Church in North Augusta – working with infants through kindergarten age.

Jacobs joined North Augusta Middle School in 2004 as a teacher before her appointment as the assistant principal three years later. Principal Barry Head “was a wonderful principal,” she said. “He shared all his knowledge with me and gave me the opportunity to grow as a leader.”

After Head retired in 2011, Jacobs was named interim principal before taking the permanent position. She knows a number of the North Augusta Elementary School teachers and is looking forward to formally meeting all of them.

“I have a passion for shaping and molding lives of children,” Jacobs said. “Working with middle schoolers was great. I feel that having worked at that level, I can prepare the elementary students for what they will face.”

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter.