CIS Starts New School Year with New Principal

By  | 
IMG_4011bBy Myrissa Eisworth
Mrs. Julie Stevens, the new principal at Central Intermediate School, started her journey in education teaching fourth grade at Comite Christian Academy. She then taught middle school until returning to elementary school, which she considers her true calling, at South Live Oak Elementary in Livingston Parish. It was while teaching there that she finished her Masters degree in Elementary Principalship — which is now called Ed Leadership — and decided to apply for a job in the newly formed Central School District. She was hired at Central Intermediate as the Accountability Coordinator. During Mrs. Stevens time as Accountability Coordinator she dealt with curriculum and testing. Upon moving into the newly built Central Intermediate School Mrs. Stevens was hired as an Assistant Principal to Mrs. Rhonda Taylor. After three years in that position former superintendent, Mr. Faulk, offered her the job of principal at Tanglewood Elementary, which she accepted. Upon Mrs. Taylor’s retirement, Dr. Fountain — the new superintendent for the district — offered Mrs. Stevens the position of principal at CIS, where she is now. 
Her wealth of experience, both as a teacher and an administrator, has allowed Mrs. Stevens to have a unique perspective on how an elementary school should be run. The students that she has now at CIS all know her as their principal from Tanglewood and the teachers at CIS all know her from her previous years there. 
Under the direction of Principal Stevens, there have been many new changes implemented at CIS. A Response to Intervention Program known as RTI has been introduced. RTI is designed to identify each individual student’s areas of need, then help provide targeted intervention directly to those areas without taking away from class time. “We want to do more pushing in with help instead of pulling [the students] out of classrooms,” commented Mrs. Stevens. The goal of this program is not only to provide help for struggling students, but also to push the more high achieving students so they can reach their fullest potential as well. Another item that has been newly included this year is a Grab-and-Go breakfast; the students pick up their breakfasts and eat in class. This allows for the school day to begin promptly at 8:15 AM. 
When asked about her fondest memories Mrs. Stevens — holding back tears — recalled the feeling of love and community that she felt when rebuilding Tanglewood after the flood. “So much love was given to Tanglewood. People coming from Texas and Florida to help and bring books and school supplies. None of the kids even had to buy school supplies at all,”, said Mrs. Stevens. Rebuilding a school was an unforgettable experience for her. Other favorite memories include the year a big Back to School Pep Rally was held at Wildcat Stadium and Mr. Obanion road in on a horse closely followed by Mrs. Stevens and Mrs. Taylor on stick horses. Mrs. Stevens also stated that she enjoyed the Journey Back in Time, an event held at Tanglewood where students and teachers dress up as pioneer people and reenact life from that time period. All in all she said that she has had lots of fun so far at CIS and she looks forward to helping all of the students achieve great things there.