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Staff Spotlight

written by Caroline Reed


New Century is starting a new segment to our website called Staff Spotlight! There are so many talented adults who work behind-the-scenes on our campus to make magic happen. Our students are stellar, and they enter our school with ambition. However, the teachers do the daily work of creating and implementing rigorous curricula. We work together to seek learning opportunities and encourage our students to intellectually excel! 

Today's spotlight is on the JROTC department. Any student that chooses this path are sure to be positively impacted by these very special leaders: Col Richie, 1SG Jackson, and 1SG Yarbrough. Between the three of them, they have many decades of service and teaching experience. Take a moment to learn more about them!

Interview Questions

Col. Diane Richie 

  1. What three traits describe you? Dedicated, loyal and hardworking. 
  2. What is your favorite quote?  I borrowed this from Dr. Cooper...” Don’t let your demography determine your destiny”!  In plain words...Don’t let where you are now determine what you can be or where you are going. 
  3. What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Really haven’t had a “weird” job, but the best job really isn’t a job it my passion.  I so enjoy the reciprocal learning that is happening with the students on campus.  They keep me on my toes.  Never know what they will say or do next.
  4. What job would you be doing if you weren't educating?  Full time Nana.  I love my grandsons dearly and would give them all my time. 
  5. What is your favorite thing about working at New Century? I respect the level of seriousness these emerging adults/leaders have in their education. The competitiveness they share in being #1 or striving to be impressive. 

1SG Larry Jackson

  1. What advice do you have for kids who are struggling with the school environment this year? Take a deep breath and do the best you can. Take one subject at a time and complete. Communicate with your teachers.
  2. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  I used to have hair. I had an afro.
  3. If you had any super power, what would it be and why? Hate removable. Because hate blinds and darkens the soul. It holds others down and back from progress.
  4. What is one food you can't live without? Lemon Cake
  5. What is your favorite thing about working at New Century? Seeing young people get it when they finally understand. When the light comes on.

1SG Duane Yarbrough

  1. What's one thing you couldn't live without? Knowing that my life had meaning. After 27+ years in the Army defending our Country and now helping young adults find their path forward, their sense of self-worth and just being there when life throws them a curve ball is immeasurable. 
  2. Where is the best place you've traveled to and why? Italy!!! The mountainous landscape with its snow-covered peaks and valleys is great for skiing. The architectural landscape is breath taking, early Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque., pictures are worth a thousand words.  
  3. Explain how you maintain records about students' accomplishments. We keep a cadet portfolio throughout the students' four years in JROTC. One of the requirements is to place in the portfolio works from other classes that demonstrate the hard work and passion put forth by the student. Prior to archiving the work, we like to not only acknowledge the work in front of the other JROTC classes, we like to also post it on our Facebook page (with the student's permission so the parents can also share in the excitement and amazement of what our students are doing. 
  4. What do you like to do when you're not at work? Be outside!! I love nature, well more in the summer and spring more so than the winter but I love being outside. Camping, hiking, and riding dirt bikes (although it has been too long since I have done that). 
  5. What is your favorite thing about working at Lee/New Century? Watching the students personal and academic growth. In JROTC, we are fortunate to have the same students each year for their entire high school experience.  Seeing the changes from their freshmen year to their senior year is heartwarming.