Mr. Blount - Principal
Mr. Michael Blount comes to Benjamin Syms Middle School after serving as Assistant Principal at Lakeland High School, Assistant Principal at King’s Fork High School, and Summer High School Principal for Suffolk Public Schools. Mr. Blount began his career as a computer science and mathematics teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk and later served as a mathematics teacher at Denbigh High School in Newport News.
Mr. Blount graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and received a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Regent University.
Mr. Blount believes that all children are uniquely gifted and are capable of achieving successes far beyond what they can imagine. He states that, “It is our responsibility as educators to pull out of them the greatness hidden inside and then help open and shape their minds to the endless possibilities that await them.”
Mr. Blount is married to Mrs. Nebretta Blount. Together they have two beautiful daughters, Nya and Avery.
Mrs. Woods - Assistant Principal
Mrs. Natasha Woods is the 6th grade Assistant Principal at Benjamin Syms Middle School. She comes to Syms after serving as an administrator in Roanoke, VA for two years. Mrs. Woods began her career as a middle school Language Arts teacher with Norfolk Public Schools at the former Lafayette-Winona Middle School.
Mrs. Woods graduated from Old Dominion University and later continued her education at Cambridge College, where she received a M.Ed degree in Administration and Supervision.
Mrs. Woods strongly believes that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”- Nelson Mandela. She is looking forward to making a difference at, and serving the students attending Benjamin Syms Middle School. As a former middle school teacher, she knows the importance of the middle school years and is excited to work with the students at Syms as they go through the next three years of their educational journey. She also looks forward to building relationships with parents and the community.
Mrs. Woods is married to Jermaine Woods. Together they have three children.
Mr. Lee - Assistant Principal
Mr. James Lee is the 7th Grade Assistant Principal. He has worked in education for 25 years, and has been an administrator for 20 years. Mr. Lee grew up in the east-end of Newport News, and graduated from Warwick HS. He has a Bachelor's Degree in special education and mathematics from Virginia Commonwealth University, and received his Master's Degree in Administration Supervision from George Washington University. In his spare time, Mr. Lee enjoys playing basketball. He is the proud father of two daughters and a son.
Mrs. White - Assistant Principal
Mrs. Chekesha White is the 8th assistant principal to Syms Middle School. She is the 8th Grade Assistant Principal. She recently served as the assistant principal of Eaton Middle School. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and was Hampton City School’s Teacher of the Year 2012-2013. She previously served as an adjunct professor at Thomas Nelson Community College and a Biology teacher for Upward Bound at Hampton University. She is married to Vander White and has two children, 16 year old, Iyana and 8- year-old Isaiah.
Mrs. White is the founder of a non-profit organization, G.I.R.L.S. Club. The club is designed specifically for middle and high school girls. The purpose of the organization is to provide the necessary academic, social, behavioral, and spiritual needs to young girls via a nurturing relationship with an adult mentor.
According to Mrs. White, her greatest accomplishment is helping to establish valuable relationships among students, parents, and educators. Today she encourages young people that life is not made by the dreams that you dream but by the choices you make!