ALTO — Shanequa Redd-Dorsey, a 1996 graduate of Jacksonville High School who later served as a coach at her alma mater, has been named as principal at Alto High School.
Redd-Dorsey is the first African-American female to serve in administration in the Alto Independent School District.
The Wiley College graduate served as girl's basketball and girl's track coach at Jacksonville from August 2009 until spring of 2013.
For the past four years Redd-Dorsey has been employed as an assistant principal at John Tyler High School. For three years she has worked with the freshmen and in Redd-Dorsey's last year her duties were focused on the seniors.
“I learned quite a bit at John Tyler High School and I was exposed to a lot of things,” Redd-Dorsey said. “I worked in operations, instruction and I dealt with parents.”
Redd-Dorsey said that even though Alto High School is much smaller than John Tyler High, one of the larger schools in East Texas, she feels the move will be a good one for her.
“I didn't want to get stagnant,” she said. “In 2005 and 2006 I was the head girl's basketball coach at Alto and I also was the assistant girl's track coach then, so I am familiar with the community and the school.
“Going from a school of (about) 2,100 kids to a school that has around 200 kids is a big difference, but it is positive for me because it will enable me to be more hands on with the teachers and students and hopefully we all can work together and make some positive things happen for the district and the students.”
Redd-Dorsey, who is a mother and a wife, said her motto has always been “excellence, everyday for everyone” and that she looks forward to implementing that mindset at Alto.
Redd-Dorsey also added that her she believes the time she has spent in coaching has served her well as an administrator.
“I have worked in education for 17 years and 12 of those were spent as a teacher-coach,” Redd-Dorsey said. “Coaching really opened the gate for me to be able to communicate well with the students as an assistant principal at John Tyler High School. For me coaching taught me to build relationships with a diverse group of people and to be flexible.”
Coming from a very athletic-oriented family in Jacksonville Redd-Dorsey explained why she decided to make the move from coaching to administration.
“In coaching you work with a certain group of kids; but as an administrator you are able to interact with all the students,” Redd-Dorsey said. “I have a lot of heart and passion for kids and I am thankful for this opportunity to hopefully be able to impact the lives of all our students.”