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Principal for a day: Newton County educators create opportunities for local students
Dr. LaMoyne A. Brunson, principal of Fairview Elementary School, spends his days providing a warm and loving environment for every student he comes in contact with. - photo by Jackie Gutknecht

There is no such thing as a standard day in the life of a Newton County School System principal. Each day is met with its own individual challenges, entertainment, learning opportunities and excitement. Fairview Elementary School Principal Dr. LaMoyne “Artie” Brunson takes on each day with a positive attitude and a lot of love.

Brunson started at Fairview as the assistant principal. He is in his second year serving as in the principal role. 

“I’ve worked a lot on finding my purpose,” he said. “My purpose at this chapter of my life is to be here.”

Walking into the school, every student, staff member and parent is met with a personalized greeting from Brunson. Whether it is a high-five or a hug, he makes sure every person in the building knows he or she is loved.

He said finding committed partners in education was one of his first initiatives in the role.

“When the opportunity came for me to interview for this job, having known that we struggled with money and things like that,” he said. “I’m going to use the work commitments because I spoke to Superintendent (Samantha) Furhey and I even committed to myself that we’re going to get some partners in here. It can just bring so much extra to the school.”

That’s where New Life Praise Center came into play. As one of the largest partners in education Fairview has, NEW LIFE provides regular staff breakfasts events for the school, among other contributions. 

“We’ve got 11 total partners now,” he said. “NEW LIFE contributes the largest, they’re really generous with the money and time, but you know nobody has to do a lot, especially if you have a lot of people.”

Aside from working with partners, Brunson makes sure he has his hand in every aspect of the school. Whether it is educating the students, participating in special events or helping the cafeteria workers, Brunson knows the school like the back of his hand. 

One initiative that can be seen throughout the school is the PBIS (Positive Behaviors Intervention Support) program. Fairview’s PBIS program is broken down into four key words: safe, organized, accountable and respectful. Those four words are the center of everything that goes on in the school. 

Brunson said the idea is to have a formalized campaign-style approach to an organized school climate. 

Fairview implements the program through a “check-in, check-out” program, S.O.A.R. techniques and focusing on how adults discipline. 

“Our PBIS team has been very successful to positively impact our school climate,” he said. 

During any given day, he can be seen sticking his head into classrooms across grade levels, responding to technology problems or talking to parents about students in the school. Whatever it is, Brunson makes sure to spread a positive attitude across the school constantly.