What does the life of a school administrator look like? Not every principal begins by attending graduate school. Steve Hall began as a custodian and now is the principal of Piney Creek Elementary. He is constantly working to bring perspectives from the larger world into his school.
Listen to Steve’s story in this Agile Administrator podcast episode or keep reading below for a summary.
Steve began his career in education as a custodian in the school he attended as a student, Gentry Middle School. His principal encouraged him to go back to school, and his pathway to administration had begun.
Steve began as a 5th grade social studies and science teacher. The principal from Gentry Middle School called him again and offered him a 6th grade teaching position. After returning to Gentry, Steve was again called into his principal’s office. He was urged to return to school to get a degree in administration.
Always Know Your Why
Now Steve is the principal of Piney Creek Elementary. He is always looking for new opportunities to challenge himself as well as his staff. “As a lifelong learner, I am always looking for ways to get better. To push myself, to push my staff, and to make our students better,” he said.
Feedback is important to Steve. He believes that you must know your vision, but be open to suggestions from others. He had to be able to give as well as receive feedback.
He also gives back by mentoring others as his principal did for him. “I look at it through that same lens. What can I do to help someone else? To attain their goals or get where they want to be,” Steve said. He has mentored six people, all of which are now in administrative positions. He believes the key to a successful career is to, “always know your why.”
“Always keep that ‘why’ at the forefront. Why are you doing this? Why are you doing what you do? Why do you get up every morning?” said Steve.
Becoming a Global School
Piney Creek Elementary is now embarking on a new journey with Steve at the forefront. The school is in the process of globalizing their school. Though the adoption process might be challenging, Piney Creek and its community are excited.
The program will feature agriculture around the world because the community relies on the industry. Steve wants to highlight something that is important to the students and the staff.
Implementing the project will take time, but Steve welcomes the challenge. “We’ve started taking things slow, in little bite-sized chunks,” he said. The school sent newsletters to parents, posted on social media, and included information about the program on its website. Steve also invited his staff to present ideas and suggestions about the program.
“We have the perfect set up, the perfect storm, to make this global work,” Steve said of school staff.
The future of Piney Creek Elementary is bright. Steve has seen more engagement in the classrooms and that is only the beginning. “Going forward I see excitement continuing about this new program. I see our teachers incorporating that global lens into their classrooms.”