Zimmerman's Westwood the Perfect Fit for Tim Stowe
After an adventurous year that saw longtime Principal Kari Sampson transfer from Westwood Elementary to ISD 728's newest school - Prairie View Elementary and Middle School - and longtime educational leader Erin Talley wrap up her career as a principal at WES after Sampson's departure - the "Wild" moniker will be embraced by a new leader.
This year will bring a fresh new face to the district and Westwood Elementary. Tim Stowe, who served as Waterville-Elysian-Morristown's (WEM) principal of grades K-4, is ready to take the lead at Westwood, with an age group for which he is very familiar.
"I will miss the younger students- the kindergarteners, first-graders and second-graders, but it's exciting to focus on relationships with those kids in grades 3, 4, and 5. They're at such a pivotal age, and it is a wonderful opportunity to make some strong bonds with students and their families." Stowe, who taught grades 2, 4, and 6 prior to becoming an administrator, said, "Westwood feels incredibly connected to its community. I believe the staff here know our community. They know our kids. And the community is proud of our school. It’s a great opportunity for someone like me, being new to the area, to enter into something that's already pretty special."
Stowe - who spends some free time fishing and hunting - said the small-town feel of Zimmerman, which is part of the state's eighth-largest school district - was a definite draw.
"You have a beautiful community feel here, but you're part of something much bigger, a much larger system," he said. "From the superintendent and the leadership team, to the resources and staff at other buildings - there are a lot of supports available to you. So as an education leader, I get the best of both worlds."
Tim and his wife, Meghan, have two kids - a boy and a girl. That keeps him busy away from school, and he's excited to make his family part of the ISD 728 community.
They also have a new addition to the family coming in September!
"It's a lot of change, but we're beyond excited," he said.
Once the 2017-2018 year gets rolling, Tim said the part of the job he's looking forward to most is working with the kids. He also has a tech background - he was the go-to guy for technology at WEM - so he's looking forward to using Schoology and the other technology resources ISD 728 has (chromebooks, carts in the classroom, etc.).
"Westwood staff and I have been exploring the importance of mindset in the classroom. We need to build character - that grit - so that when students are faced with a problem, they’re not just throwing up your hands and saying "I can't." What can we do as educators to help students overcome challenges? What traits can help us overcome adversity? That's what I would like to focus on," he said.
Westwood Elementary will host its open house night from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30.