Lanett’s Nanette: Lanett High School welcomes new principal

Published 9:00 am Saturday, July 6, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Lanett High School is welcoming Nanette Cullwell, a homegrown principal, for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Lanett City Schools recently announced that Lanett High School will be welcoming a new face to the role of principal this summer. Cullwell, the school’s former vice principal, has taken the new position in stride. 

In addition to her four years as assistant principal at LHS, Cullwell brings over a decade of education and administration experience. She has accumulated a bachelor’s degree in social work, a Master of Arts in Teaching and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. 

Email newsletter signup

After working as an English Language Arts teacher, Cullwell moved on to an administrative role in the school.

It seems fitting that the new head of the high school is a native of Lanett. After gaining her education, Cullwell returned to her hometown to serve her community. 

“This is a full circle moment for me,” Cullwell said in an email to the VT-N this week. “This opportunity gives me a sense of closure and completion, returning to where my educational journey began. It feels good returning to a known environment, with familiar faces and having a sense of comfort. I’ve always had a desire to give back to the school that shaped my educational journey.”

Now that she has taken on the role, Cullwell has big plans for Lanett High’s future — starting with the positive school culture. 

“I want our students to be smart and successful in whatever they do in life but I want them to be good people,” she said. “My goal is to implement things to help them be good people when they go out into the world.”

Her vision for the school atmosphere is inspired by the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” 

“Both are equally important,” Cullwell said. 

Though she has seen great success in her career, Cullwell said her motivation has come from the obstacles that she has had to overcome over the years. That’s where her passion comes from for guiding students and seeing them succeed.

“Overcoming adversity helped lead to my personal growth and I want to help students experience similar growth,” she said. “Overcoming adversity helped me develop a deeper understanding of the importance of education and it made me realize the value of education in transforming my life.”

With that in mind, the new principal’s main focus coming into the 2024-2025 school year will be cultivating a “culture of care.”

“My main focus will be to immerse our students in a culture of care in order to achieve academically, which includes culturally relevant practices,” Cullwell said. “It is important to get our kids excited about coming to school.”

After nearly a decade in the field, the satisfaction of impacting students’ lives and educational journeys has not lost its luster. When asked what has kept her passion going, Cullwell said, “Children’s eyes. The bright shiny ones that say, ‘I get it!’ The blank, ‘What are you talking about?’ ones. And the dull, ‘I already know I cannot do this,’ ones. Joy, critique to improve, and the challenge to heal damage previously done. The smiles and laughter from my students. Knowing I’m still making a difference. This is my ministry. A ministry outside of the church walls.”