Dr. Laura Hussein likes things dress-right-dress.

After becoming principal of Albritton Middle School, in March, one of her first acts of business was to reinforce the school’s dress code, which, at its most basic level, requires khaki pants or skirts and polo shirts.

The dress code may seem trivial, but Hussein said that it’s important.

“It sets the tone of high expectations,” Hussein said. It ensures that the youth are dressed neatly and are not distracted from learning.

Additionally, Hussein continues to iterate the College and Career Readiness Standards for math and literacy, she said. The CCR prepares youth for success in college, the workforce and in citizenship, important to the Department of Defense Education Activity.

For instance, teachers are being trained continually and students are stretching beyond PowerPoint to use technology authentically, she explained. “They are doing more collaborative work with teachers to develop projects.”

Hussein, who said she lives by the Golden Rule — treat others as one wants to be treated — tries to instill the same in her children.

“Respect is a huge thing … be respectful to each other. When I talk to kids, it’s about being respectful,” Hussein said. “I want us to be the best. I think we’ve got some work to do, but I think we’ve got the potential to be the best.”

Being the best is what drove Hussein back into education after a hiatus following her first teaching job. In the interim, she said she held jobs ranging from real estate to secretarial work. But, after missing students, she went back to the chalkboard.

Hussein earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, subsequently pursued a master’s degree in Education Administration, as well as a doctorate in Technology. Her professional career has taken her from Florida to England and back stateside.

“DoDEA has been good to me,” said Hussein, who smiles from a face framed by salt-and-pepper hair.

At Albritton, she seems to have found dedicated staff.

“Staff members really care about the kids here and really care about what’s going on,” she said. “They go the extra mile — staying after school, athletics, clubs … it’s very impressive what they do.”

A wife and mother, Hussein said she likes to spend time with Family. She also enjoys acting in community theater and singing in a community choir.

No matter if she’s at school or work, providing a quality education to Albritton youth remains her focus.

“Albritton is a great place,” Hussein said. “I feel like I can make a difference and be an advocate.

“It’s more than just the ABCs.”