“It's exciting,” said Crump, “and a little overwhelming at times.”
Crump began her career in education in 1988, when she became a teacher in Butler County. She taught various grades from fourth through seventh there and then became curriculum specialist for the middle school. Crump then went to work at the Region Two Service Center, a part of the Kentucky Department of Education.
After her time there, she could have gone back to Butler County, but was ready to be closer to home. Crump, who was born and raised in Auburn, instead took a job as a math and science teacher at Chandlers Elementary School. For the last two years, she has been the curriculum specialist there.
“I was wanting to get into leadership,” Crump said of making the moves from teacher to curriculum specialist and now to principal. “And I've had an interest in this district for a long time.”
As she settles into her new office, Crump is looking to the future for Stevenson.
“I want to bring back academic pride to Russellville schools,” she said. “I want to see that academic excellence return.”
Crump said she believes the Russellville Independent School system, which has a fairly new superintendent and will have new principals at all three schools this year, is really focused on the needs of the students.
At Stevenson, Crump wants to focus on basics like math and reading.
“My main goal is to establish a community of learners and emphasize reading,” Crump said.
The school will be using a new supplemental reading program and will focus on making sure children keep their skills up to the appropriate level. They will have a protected one and a half hour of reading time daily. During this time, students who are not performing at grade level will be given extra assistance.
In addition, Crump said she wants to focus on creating a school culture that is conducive to learning.
“Before you can address instruction, you must have a positive class environment,” Crump said.
The school will work with the Kentucky Center for Instructional Discipline to focus on a positive discipline program. Crump said she believes it is important to teach students what is expected of them so they know what is acceptable and what is not.
Another one of her goals as principal will be to get parents more involved in the school and in their child's education.
As she makes her plans for the 2006-2007 school year, Crump has some immediate needs to meet. The fifth grade is being moved to Stevenson from the middle school and classroom space must be rearranged. There are also some vacancies that must be filled, including the position of assistant principal.
Crump said she will rely on the knowledge of long-time staff members to help her learn what already works well at Stevenson.
“I'm very exited,” Crump said of being principal. “I consider it an awesome responsibility.”