At the beginning of the 2014-’15 school year Bobbie Kilgore began her position as Principal at Banneker Elementary School in Milford , following in the footsteps of her mentor Jean Wylie who served the district for 46 years. Stepping into the role of Principal after five years as the school’s Assistant Principal, Kilgore is excited about the opportunities that teachers and staff are creating for the first through fifth graders that attend the school.
Born in Newark, DE, Kilgore moved to the Milford area and began as a Technology teacher at Milford Middle School. Receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Economics from Randolph-Macon College in VA, she eared her graduate degree from Wilmington College in Education and her Doctorate in School Leadership. A forth generation educator, Kilgore worked with student from third to eighth grade before moving to the Milford School District Office where she performed assessments for the entire district. She stepped into the role of Assistant Principal at Banneker for the five years under the direction of Jean Wylie before taking the top position after Wylie retired.
“After 47 years of service in the district and 15 years at Banneker [Jean Wylie] has become part of the building, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work under her for five years,” commented Kilgore. “She gave me so many opportunities to grow and learn under her direction.”
Kilgore admits that as an undergraduate in school for business and economics, she did not think she would be in education years later. However, she also makes the point that “now, I cannot imagine being anywhere else, this job is so rewarding.” Watching the children at Banneker Elementary School grow and learn is what inspires Kilgore to continue her career in education. Her focus on supporting and encouraging the growth of the entire child, above the realm of academics, is what keeps her out of the office and into the hallways and classrooms on a daily basis. Supporting her teachers in the classroom, she encourages them to work with students in making Banneker the best possible learning environment for all of the children who attend.
“In addition to academics, we teach our students social skills, community and character building,” commented Kilgore. “We teach them about the importance of being part of their community and help them understand that they are and will continue to be a part of the larger community outside of school.”
Banneker Elementary School has adopted the acronym BEST, Be responsible, Express respect, Safety first and Teamwork, in order to encourage character building among students. Following this foundation of principles to live by, students learn to make their own decisions in and outside of the classroom. Students in fifth grade, who will enter the Milford Central Academy the following year, are taught how to act and think more independently by becoming more responsible and learning to speak up for themselves when they need help.
As students progress through the elementary school, Kilgore and her staff create opportunities for students to get involved with the larger community. The importance of community service is focused on across all grade levels, encouraging children to actively participate.
“We teach our students that there are times when we all are on the receiving end and times we can give back to others,” said Kilgore. “They need to feel that they are part of the larger community and that their actions make a difference.”
During this month, Banneker students will join the Red Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness of drug and alcohol abuse and to encourage people and communities to advocate for a drug-free lifestyle.