Calcasieu home to State Assistant Principal of the Year
Public Information Officer
November 6, 2018
Stacie Reed loves math. A trait she says she gets from her dad. So naturally, when she entered college, she began pursuing a degree in accounting. Two and a half years in, she changed her mind.
"I tried not to do education, but I thought 'this is crazy,'" said Reed. "I'm going to go where my heart is, so I switched my major to education. I wouldn't do anything else. It's where my heart is and where my passion is."
Now, after dedicating nearly 28 years to education with the Calcasieu Parish School Board, Reed has been named Louisiana's Assistant Principal of the Year.
"She deserves more," said first grade teacher Stacie O'Neal. "She is just a leader, a great role model for what a leader should be and how a leader should carry themselves."
Reed is in her twelfth year as Assistant Principal at J.I. Watson Elementary, a position she earned after spending 14 years as a classroom teacher and two years as a Master teacher.
"I'm not from Iowa, but I've grown to love the community and the people that are here," said Reed. "I also get to impact them, becuase I'm having an impact on their children."
Education runs deep in Reed's soul, as both of her parents were also educators here in Calcasieu.
"I watched them impact the lives of kids all the time," said Reed.
And now, she's doing it too.
"As as assistant principal, I get to impact my staff, help support them, and drive curriculum," said Reed. "But I also get to impact the school full of children every day. I have the opportunity to impact a bigger, broader group of people."
Her impact is certainly felt by students, teachers, and others around her, including J.I. Watson's principal, Joe David, who nominated her for the award.
"Ms. Reed exemplifies what an excellent administrator should be," said David. "Her love for her students and staff is apparent in everything she does every day for J.I. Watson Elementary."
While the State Assistant Principal of the Year title is very special to Reed, she says this honor goes well beyond her alone.
"It's bigger than me," said Reed. "Do I work hard? Yes. But so does everybody else in education. I watch my staff work hard every day. For me, the biggest part is that I get to represent this school and this district. It's so much bigger than just me. I feel like I'm doing it for all of them."
O'Neal uses words like fair, understanding, and compassionate when describing Reed, also crediting Reed for improving her teaching abilities.
"She's always here," says O'Neal. "The school is always first. You can tell in the way that she leads with the students and the staff."
That same sentiment is felt far beyong the halls of J.I. Watson.
"We are extremely proud that Mrs. Stacie Reed has been chosen at the Louisiana Assistant Principal of the Year," said Chief Academic Officer Tommy Campbell. "Most assistant principals do what many consider the grunt work of school administration. Mrs. Reed has expanded the assistant principal's role and has taken on major responsibilities dealing with curriculum and instruction as well. She may not always be in the spotlight, but the work she does puts in place the foundation needed to build a strong and positive learning environment."
That work, the work Reed does day in and day out, renders the best rewards.
"We're taking all of the children that parents send us," said Reed. "We're taking their prized possessions. It's our job to educate them, not only academically, but socially, emotionally, help them be a better citizen. To be able to see growth in those kids and watch them have success is the best part, the good stuff."
Reed strongly encourages others to consider pursuing education, acknowledging that there is nothing else she'd rather do.
"If it's truly what you're passionate about and you want to work with children and make a difference, it doesn't matter what anyone else says," said Reed. "If that's where your heart is and that's where your passion is, you dig in and you commit to it and you go forward and you make a difference in kids' lives."
When she's not wearing her Assistant Principal hat, Reed spends time running, volunteering at church, and spending time with family, including her first grandchild who arrived in May.