by Sarah Einselen
Southeastern School Board members voted Monday night to hire Barrett Bates as Galveston Elementary principal starting this fall.
Bates, a six-year teacher at Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School, will fill the position after current principal Trudie Hedrick moves up to the superintendent’s seat this summer. Superintendent John Bevan retires in June.
“He’s a real sharp young man, a well-respected teacher, and we know him, we know what he’s capable of,” said Bevan.
Bates, 30, completed a master’s degree in education from Ball State University with an emphasis in educational leadership and earned his administrator’s license in February.
He had interned at Galveston Elementary from August through December as part of his licensure, where he became familiar with the school’s current status and direction.
“He is eager, anxious, he has the total package skill set and he is very familiar with the building already,” said Hedrick.
She’ll start training Bates one day per week in spring-semester school duties, she said, then over the summer training will continue in evaluating ISTEP scores.
Hedrick introduced Bates to Galveston staff members Tuesday morning and plans to take him to visit each of the elementary’s classrooms after spring break.
“I think that’s important for the kids to know,” said Hedrick, “because they, too, know that I’m not going to be here next year, and they’ve asked, who’s it going to be?”
Bates was one of 34 applicants, seven of whom were interviewed, Bevan said. He was one of two applicants from within the school corporation.
The whole process of choosing a principal took about a month, according to Bevan.
Bates said he saw the administrative position as an opportunity to do more of what he loves about being a teacher.
“I’ve always been somebody who wants to put kids first,” explained Bates after school Tuesday. “A lot of people said, well, why are you leaving the classroom?... To me I’m not leaving the classroom. I’m entering more classrooms.”
Bates intends to support the growth of teachers and students in his role as principal, he said.
“As an educator, you have one of the most important jobs because every day you impact a student’s life,” he said. “That’s one of the things that’s really driven me into administration because now you’re impacting more lives. Any time you can do that in a positive way — it’s very rewarding.”
Bates was also an intern at Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School during his administrative licensure process and has taken on several leadership roles in the past.
He was a member of the school improvement committee, the teacher evaluation committee and the technology committee — just a few of several leadership opportunities, he said, that have helped prepare him for an administrative position.
Bates lives in Kokomo with his wife Nicole, a nurse at Howard Community Hospital, and their 4-year-old son.
Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151.
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