Learning to Reach your Full Potential: Dr. Magee Joins Chamblee

Dr. Magee poses for a photo

Courtesy of the Blue and Gold

Dr. Magee poses for a photo

Rasesh Joshi, Reporter

As Chamblee continues to get back into the groove of this school year, a new face has joined its administrative office. Dr. Ariana Magee, Chamblee High School’s newest assistant principal, is set to oversee attendance and the ESOL program. Magee is passionate about helping students discover who they are and learn to love learning.
“I’ve always enjoyed sharing my love of education with others. So my goal is always to make sure that students know how important education is and grow to love it,” said Magee.
Before coming to Chamblee, Magee pursued her doctorate and taught at Cross Keys High School.
“I am originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. I came to Georgia in 2012 to pursue my doctorate in educational leadership at Clark Atlanta University and I just never left,” said Magee. “When I came, I knew nothing about English learners, but I grew to love them working at Cross Keys High School as an ESOL science teacher. […] They are my passion and my babies now which is what brought me to Chamblee.”
Magee’s enthusiasm for ESOL education has brought her to many places over the past few years.
“When I left Cross Keys, I went to Forsyth County and I was an instructional coach for English learners [at] all of the middle and high schools,” said Magee. “I decided that I wanted to come back to DeKalb county schools so when I saw the Chamblee position open, I said, Great. I get to work with English learners, and I’m back at home.”

Magee believes that her doctorate has helped her excel in her career and given her more opportunities.
“When you’re applying for a job. You want to be the most qualified person on paper so that you at least get an interview [and are] invited to the table. So I felt like in order to be invited to the table for an administrative position, I needed to have that doctorate and have all the interviews that I have,” Magee said. “It may not be for everybody. I’m not gonna sit here and say that it was easy because it definitely wasn’t [. . .] But I don’t think that without the doctorate, I would have had all the opportunities that I’ve had.”
Magee realized that she would have a greater impact working as an administrator rather than being a teacher.
“As a classroom teacher, you technically only affect the students that you directly work with and those that become your student friends, because you’ve worked with them or you’ve seen them in the hallway. But as an administrator, you have the opportunity to affect change for students across the building and develop relationships with students across the building,” Magee said. “That’s one of the main reasons that I knew that admin was for me.”
As an assistant principal, Magee oversees and leads many different departments and programs for Chamblee High School.
“I am over attendance. I’m looking after the teachers when they’re absent. Or they need coverage. And also the students like when you’re skipping or parties are absent, just making sure that you guys are in class and where you’re supposed to be. I’m also over PSAT [and] AP testing. I work with the teachers who work with English learners and I work with the Social Studies department,” Magee said.
Magee’s teaching philosophy as an assistant principal is that students should be treated as adults and that everyone should respect each other in the classroom.
“For the most part, I encourage students to make good decisions so that we don’t have to be like, ‘sit down and be quiet,’” Magee said. “As long as we’re learning and we’re vibing together, we’re good and I generally didn’t have any discipline problems because students enjoy coming to class because every moment of class [… is] interesting. It’s gonna be fun and you won’t even realize that you’re learning.”
Magee’s best moments as a teacher in DeKalb came from forming stronger bonds with students.
“My favorite moment as an educator was [when] I had a student at the beginning of the school year who spoke absolutely no English. And every day I would just be playing music because music is a universal language. Everybody understands music. One day the class was totally silent. We’re listening to Bruno Mars. This student stands up and starts singing the song in English. Now honestly, that day, we didn’t learn science. But did we learn English? Yes, we did. But from that moment on, I realized that okay, this student may not be able to answer me all the way in English, but he understands what I’m saying,” Magee said. “We were able to form a better working relationship and as a result, his grades actually went up.”
For Magee, students should stay true to who they are and always push themselves.
“Go to class, pay attention in class, […] do your personal best,” Magee said. “My advice for those students who want to be examples is, during the high school years, you’re finding yourself and you’re trying to figure out who you are, but be yourself at all times.”