Return to Headlines

Down on the farm: Wimbish retires to cultivate new growth

Dr. Margo Wimbish is retiring as Principal of Fayette LIFE Academy to cultivate a new type of growth down on her family’s farm.

Wimbish’s path into education was set thanks to seeds planted by her family. Her parents were in the 10th grade when they had her. They dropped out of school, but they were determined she would have a bright future. Parents at 16, they are still married and still an inspiring force.

“They really pushed education and wanted more for me. I am a product of a very strong family line and that push to do better in the next generation,” she said. “I am sitting here today with multiple degrees all from that meager beginning, and they are so supportive still.”

Coming out of college 30 years ago, Wimbish quickly found her new home. She was plucked from a recruitment fair to be a science teacher at Fayette County High. She later taught at the then-Fayette Alternative School, and the experience stuck with her.

She has only ever been an educator in Fayette County. Once she got here, she fell in love with the community, and she raised her family here.

“I love the community. I love the commitment of the parents to education. The support from the community. The leadership from the district office down,” she said. “It is a very unique and supportive place to work.”

Executive Director of Secondary Education Rae Presley-King saw potential in Wimbish and urged her to consider moving into administration. She is one of many that have pushed Wimbish forward by seeing things she may not have even seen in herself.

“That is kind of the thing that makes someone move forward or succeed, those people who step into their life and support them and see things in them,” said Wimbish. “I would’ve never been here, I would’ve never thought about administration, without that support.”

After completing the administration intern program, she moved to Sandy Creek High as an assistant principal. She found that their motto of “Once a Patriot, always a Patriot” is true.

“I still feel that way.”

She then returned to Fayette LIFE Academy as its principal.

“I knew that I wanted to come back. Having the opportunity to come back to Fayette LIFE gave me a chance to make those connections again and to kind of create a place,” she said. “It’s been really amazing to be able to step in and create a space and to see what this team has created and how it serves students.”

Programs like Horizon, Open Campus, and Fayette Virtual Academy offer a world of options to non-traditional students. Students who work, young parents, or those in need of an academic reset will find a school filled with teachers eager to get them on track.

“(LIFE) is the best place in the district to work, and I think that we have accumulated an amazing staff, and that’s from the top down,” she said. “Everyone is here because they want to be and because they love this population.”

She thinks back to when she was a teacher at the Alternative School. There was a student she taught who was going through a really tough time. They were able to get into a state program where they could work on their diploma while getting military training. On a rare two days off to come home, and with a mentor along on the trip, the former student came to see Wimbish. Wimbish knew she was able to be someone important in that student’s life.

“He came to see me, and I think that was the biggest thank you that I’ve ever received,” she remembered. “It is a good place to make a difference because we are so small.”

A few years ago, another family was so moved by what Open Campus meant to their child that they made a $10,000 donation upon graduation.

“That was the ultimate show of appreciation,” she said. “You don’t always stop and think what a difference this program makes and how some kids need a program that is different from the norm.”

With retirement fast approaching, Wimbish is ready to shift gears, but not quite slow down. A family beekeeping hobby has blossomed into a a full-on farm. She’s always loved nature, and now she gets to enjoy it full-time. They grow blueberries and they have poultry and pigs with plans to add cattle.

“It’s been kind of a total unique turnaround. Now that I have the opportunity to retire and be there and to take part in that every day, I’m really looking forward to it.”

She leaves behind a school that will always be a part of her.

“I came to Fayette for a job, and I stayed for the students, for the community, for the leadership. This is the best district in the state. I, being a part of Fayette County, had such a wonderful experience as an educator, as a leader, as a parent that I want to make sure that every student, every family that comes through gets that same experience from me as a leader,” said Wimbish. “(LIFE) was kind of a dream, very unique to be able to come in as a leader and create a space like this. I wanted to create a place where kids wanted to be, where staff wanted to be, and that the community would support. I’ve got that here.”


“The Honor Role,” an official podcast for Fayette County Public Schools, features employees, rotating through key stakeholders, including teachers, staff, nurses, custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers. Join us as we dive in and learn about their journeys, their inspirations, and their whys.

Episodes are available on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and promoted on the social media channels of Fayette County Public Schools.

Episodes will also be available here:


Posted 4/23/2024