I have told many of you that being a principal for Lakeshore was my ultimate goal. I never thought I would have the opportunity to achieve that goal until I was a few years from retirement, as Lakeshore is *the* desirable district. Everyone wants to work for Lakeshore, so I thought I would need 20-25 years of experience to even have the opportunity to be here.
A little over one year ago, I got a call from Sue Hardy to set up an interview for this position. I was sitting in a classroom at McCulloch Junior High School in Marion, Indiana, with an eighth grade teacher, discussing a RtI form for one of her students. My heart skipped a beat when I saw a 269 number, and I think I just about had a panic attack when Sue let me know she was calling on behalf of Lakeshore Public Schools. I could not contain my excitement on the phone with her. I am pretty sure I said something really silly when we were setting up my interview. When we got off the phone, I thought, "Oh boy! I just ruined that!"
When I arrived for my first interview, I was so nervous. I wanted this job so badly. I kept telling myself to be myself, to relax and to not get too excited. When I first walked into the conference room and saw many of you sitting around the table, I had a moment of pause. I was trying not to make it obvious that I was nervous, but whew... I was nervous. I felt like I wasn't the "typical" candidate. I was 30, I had a nose ring and tattoos. I was hoping that you all would be able to see what I had to offer.
As soon as we started talking, I felt at ease-- because of YOU. The interview seemed more like a conversation. We laughed, some tears were shed, and Julie P had to keep us on track with time. I feel like we began to build the new Stewart Family that day. I definitely felt connected to all of you in a way that I had never really felt before.
When I left the interview, I called my mom and said, "That was the perfect fit. That's the one." By no means did I feel like I had this job "in the bag", but I wanted it even more than anything. When I got the call for my second interview, I was ecstatic! When the position was offered to me, I cried like a baby!
My first interview was on May 10, 2018. Tomorrow marks exactly one year since the new Stewart Family began. I absolutely love being the Principal at Stewart Elementary, and the reason I love it is each of YOU. You all have always been supportive, caring, open, warm and accepting. You've been there through tough times and good times. You inspire me each day to improve, to gain knowledge and to become the best version of myself. The Stewart Family is truly my family. I feel connected to you in a way that words cannot describe.
Thank you for all you do each day. Thank you for making Stewart Elementary more than a building... you make it home. Please know you are appreciated, valued and loved. Happy Staff and Teacher Appreciation and Recognition Week!