On Monday night, the Stevenson Elementary School site-based decision making council reached a decision on the school’s next principal, voting to select Russellville High School assistant principal Lisa White as the next principal at the independent school district’s elementary school.
White, who spent two years as a teacher at Stevenson before heading up the Russellville Independent alternative school and then serving as assistant principal at RHS, said she is glad to be going back to the elementary as principal.
“My head is spinning with excitement,” White said. “I looking forward to getting reacquainted with those teachers again. I can’t wait to be side by side with them making the changes as a staff and a team that will help make the school even better.”
Russellville superintendent Leon Smith said that the choice to hire White proved to be an easy one.
“She’s going to be a warm caring person and she’s going to do a great job out at Stevenson,” Smith said. “I think we were very fortunate to have a person of Lisa’s caliber already in our district. I am excited because she’s had three years outside of Stevenson in administrative roles that have really helped her grow professionally. I think she’ll do a tremendous job.”
The site-based council had hoped to have a successor for current principal Debbie Brown, who is stepping down at the end of the school year, named by the end of the week. By hiring White, they met that goal.
“I think the timeline was very important,” Smith said. “I know there were other school districts that were going to be interviewing Lisa and we wanted to beat them to her. I am confident that she would have been picked up very readily by another school district if we had not hired her.”
White said that being a part of the Russellville Independent district for the past five years will make her transition to principal at SES much easier.
“I know our programs and the time we spent on certain areas to make improvements,” White said. “I have that background already and it totally makes it easier.”
White said that her first priority will be getting to know all the new staff that has been hired at SES since she left and also getting reacquainted with all the teachers she knows from her time there.”
“I want to take all the strengths and positive things that have been happening for the past three years and move forward with them,” she said. “I want to hear from all the teachers about what has worked and what hasn’t. Their input is vital. We’re going to come up with a plan together to make Stevenson even better.”
White also has big plans for making sure that parents feel comfortable as a part of the SES family.
“When I left Stevenson, I was also a parent because my children went there,” White said. “I want all the parents to feel like they’re a vital part of the family and that they are welcome in the building.”