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Discovery welcomes Barkley as new principal

Melanie Barkley is principal at Discovery Middle School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Melanie Barkley is principal at Discovery Middle School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Melanie Barkley has accepted the opening for principal at Discovery Middle School.

Barkley’s career started in 1997 with Madison County Schools at Sparkman High School as assistant coach for varsity softball. She then taught ninth- and tenth-grade history at Buckhorn High School and coached varsity volleyball and softball.

“During 2002-2003, I served as the first high school reading coach for Madison County. I traveled between Hazel Green, Buckhorn and New Hope high schools,” Barkley said. She then worked for the Alabama State Department of Education with the Alabama Reading Initiative, servicing 66 North Alabama secondary schools.

In 2004, she accepted the assistant principalship at Sparkman middle and then served as charter principal at Mill Creek Elementary School.

Barkley describes Mill Creek’s faculty as “true professionals” who “have developed a strong culture of learning. I would encourage the next principal to continue to foster strong professional development for teachers and continue to push students to be the best they can be.”

Her strong secondary background led her to the Discovery opening and “to be a part of the exciting things happening on the secondary level in Madison City. I love working with middle-school-age children,” Barkley said.

In some ways, adolescents “have different educational and social needs, but they’re all just kids and want to learn,” she said. Middle-school students “have so much potential. No matter what stage of education, we help them become strong graduates and grow to be productive citizens.”

Barkley earned a bachelor’s degree at Athens State University and a master’s degree at Tennessee State University. She completed reading specialist endorsement at Alabama A&M University and an education specialist degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Her husband Scott works as a contractor with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Their children are Dalton, 17, a Bob Jones High School junior, and Bryant, 12, a Discovery seventh-grader.

Former Liberty Middle School Principal Sally Bruer is serving as Mill Creek’s interim principal. Dr. Robbie Smith, Discovery’s former principal, now is principal at Hartselle Junior High School.

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