2 new Westside elementary school principals
Howbert post fulfills dream for Hawes
In being selected the new principal of Howbert Elementary, Deb Hawes is living out a dream.
In a way, it's a subset of an overall dream to become a principal after 16 years in public school education. She'd gained a master of arts in education as well as a professional principal license from Adams State University in 2004.
There was just this special thing about Howbert. “My sister lives off Woodmen Road, and when I'd take the back way to see her, I'd go by Howbert and see the windows full of kids' work,” Hawes recalled. “It had this feeling of being the hub of the community.”
The more she learned about the Pleasant Valley school, about its high academic marks and strong parental involvement, the more the idea appealed to her. “For years, I'd heard these great, amazing things,” she said. “I told my husband (Mark, to whom she's been married 31 years), 'Wouldn't that be a dream, to become principal there?'”
Hawes faced an unexpected test of her vision this spring. Nearing the end of her fifth year with Harrison School District 2 - the last three of which she'd been an assistant principal - she was offered the chance of leading a school of her own there next year.
Liking District 2, she'd have jumped at the opportunity if the Howbert position hadn't become available in Colorado Springs School District 11. Which to choose? The dream, of course.
“It's where I wanted to be,” Hawes said.
As she makes plans for the 2011-12 school year, her zeal remains undiminished even though she's looking out Howbert's windows now instead of looking in. She doesn't plan any major, immediate changes for the school. Her main push will be to make sure that teachers take time to communicate professionally with each other to ensure that the best ideas are always in place. “There's a lot of expertise in that building,” she said. “I want everyone to see what's working.”
The only thing she's found about Howbert that she didn't like so well was the paint color in her office. Hardly an end to the dream. She's been rolling up her sleeves and repainting it herself.
Westside Pioneer article