Sampson’s energy wins him top TCHS post

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By Lorrie Kinkade


The Trimble Banner

You can’t help but get excited when Sterling “Buddy” Sampson talks about the latest development in his career.

The former special education teacher may have been enthused when he was named assistant principal of Trimble County High School just two short months ago, but now he practically vibrates with energy when talking about his future as the school’s top administrator.

Sampson was officially offered the position of TCHS principal July 29 after besting nearly a dozen other candidates, two of who were also interviewed by the school’s Site Based Decision Making Council. Sampson replaces Rebecca Moore who transferred to the school district’s central office last month.

“I’m ready for this. I have big goals and expect big successes. Working with the faculty and staff here I know we can raise expectations and hold students accountable. Together we can achieve,” Sampson said in a recent interview. “The biggest reason I have this opportunity is because people in the right places pushed me. My aspirations were always to become principal and with backing and support from family and people in the school district, I’m here.”

Originally from Scott County, KY, Sampson received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky prior to achieving his Master’s degree at Georgetown College. Later, he completed his Rank I certification at Indiana University Southeast.

His professional career began as a special education teacher at Trimble County Middle School, where he taught for five years before moving to TCHS in June. He said lessons learned during his TCMS tenure helped groom him for his new responsibilities.

“I know the importance of having high expectations for student and staff performance. We all achieve greater things when people tell us we can and expect more from us,” he said.

Sampson said he also expects to benefit from his reputation as a “strong disciplinarian.”

“Most of the students here have passed through the middle school. They know I have high expectations when it comes to behavior. And that won’t change,” he sad.

District superintendent Marcia Haney-Dunaway said she expects Sampson’s attitude to be contagious among students, as well as school personnel.

“Buddy brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the building and that’s something you need in any high school,” she said. “He’s just so positive and wants everyone to feel the same excitement about our school as he does.”

Debbie Griffin, TCHS teacher and SBDM Council vice-chairman who served as chairman of the principal selection committee said Sampson was an easy choice.

“He had such enthusiasm and spirit for building a community between teachers, students and parents,” she said.

“Buddy is going to bring excitement to the school. He’ll be the cheerleader. He’ll be in the classrooms and in the hallways. Wherever students are, he’ll be there cheering them on, shouting, ‘Let’s go Raiders.’”

Sampson is a resident of Trimble County. He and his wife Brooke have one daughter, two-year-old Ainsley, and another child due to be born this month.