New principal sets goals at East End school

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published September 10, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: William Harvey

Jayme Steinbeck is the new principal at East End Intermediate School, which is part of the Sheridan School District. A native of Conway, she came to the East End school last year as assistant principal.

EAST END COMMUNITY — Jayme Steinbeck has set several goals as she begins her new job as principal of East End Intermediate School; they all revolve around the students.

“My philosophy as a teacher, and now as an administrator, is it’s all about the students,” said Steinbeck, 54, who began working for the Sheridan School District in 2015.

“It’s all about the kids and their learning. This school is built for them. I want to build relationships not only with the staff, but also the kids. As assistant principal last year, I dealt a lot with discipline. This year, I want to step back, … relate with the parents, kids and the community,” Steinbeck said.

“I keep going back to the students. I want to be sure all students’ needs are met,” she said. “We want to use the data we have to make sure this happens. We want to intervene quickly, when necessary. We want to see what their needs are and meet those needs.

“One thing we will focus on this year is the use of data to help us find intervention programs for those kids who may need a little extra help. … We want all kids to be able to learn. We hope to offer some enrichment programs as well for students needing those kinds of activities.”

Steinbeck said she has taught in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

“Experiences from all of those places have shaped me,” she said. “I have seen all different kinds of kids, different circumstances. All of that has shaped me as a teacher, made me a more well-rounded person and teacher.”

Sheridan School District Superintendent Jerrod Williams said Steinbeck “has a wealth of experience, having been a teacher of all subjects at districts both in state and out of state. She has high expectations not only for her students and staff, but also for herself.

“She is known for her dedication to her students and for her professionalism. She is an outstanding ambassador to our district and the East End community. We are extremely fortunate to have Mrs. Steinbeck as the new EEI principal.”

Steinbeck was born in Conway, a daughter of Shirley Montgomery of Conway and the late James Montgomery. Steinbeck has one sister, Melissa Longing of Conway.

Steinbeck graduated from Conway High School in 1981.

“I got married and had kids before I went to college,” she said. “I waited until my youngest was in kindergarten; then I went to the University of Central Arkansas in 1990. I graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, specializing in elementary education, grades one through six.”

Steinbeck continued her education and received a Master of Science in Education degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University in 2014. She is certified to teach elementary school, grades one through six, as well as middle school social studies. She is also certified in building-level administration and educational leadership.

Steinbeck received certification in reading and language arts, early and middle childhood, from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2008. She is working toward becoming a Master Principal through the Arkansas

Leadership Academy.

Steinbeck has two adult daughters. Her older daughter, Neely Claassen, 37, lives in Conway and is assistant principal at Mayflower Elementary School. Steinbeck’s younger daughter, Ashley Hellerich, 32, also lives in Conway.

“When I was growing up, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer,” Steinbeck said. “But as I had kids and began to be around kids, I realized I really enjoyed being around children and decided to become a teacher.

“I’ve always taught in elementary schools — most of the time, third or fourth grades. I did teach first grade one year. That was a humbling experience.”

Steinbeck began her teaching career in Conway, where she taught all subjects to fourth-graders at Marguerite Vann Elementary School from 1999 to 2001.

In 2001, she moved to Texas

for two years, where she taught third grade at Dunbar Elementary School in Texarkana, Texas.

“I moved back to Conway in 2003 and taught fourth grade at Julia Lee Moore Elementary School,” she said. “Then I moved off again, this time to Shreveport, Louisiana, where I stayed for seven years.”

She taught first and fourth grades, all subjects, and English as a Second Language, at Midway Professional Development School in Shreveport from 2006 to 2008. She then taught third grade at Arthur Circle Elementary School from 2009 to 2012. She was named the Arthur Circle Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2011.

Steinbeck moved back to Arkansas in 2012 and taught fourth grade at Mayflower Elementary School until 2015. She moved to the Sheridan School District in 2015 as assistant principal at East End Intermediate School.

“I feel like I belong here at East End. I feel like I am home now,” she said, smiling.

“We have 560 students in grades three through six. I enjoy being here every day,” Steinbeck said. “They are really good kids, and the staff is amazing. The parents are amazing as well. We have a fantastic Parent Teacher Organization.

“I have landed in the perfect role for me. It’s just a perfect fit.”

Steinbeck said the Sheridan School District covers 620 square miles, from Grapevine to East End. She said East End Intermediate School is in Saline County and has a Little Rock address but is part of the Sheridan School District.

“We are about to break ground for a new East End Middle School as a result of the recent millage increase that was approved. That will be wonderful for this community,” Steinbeck said.

“Our superintendent, Mr. Williams, is so progressive. … He has such a good vision for the district. That is one reason why this job is easy for me. He is an advocate for the teachers, as well as the students,”

she said.

“I still have a teacher’s heart,” Steinbeck said. “I miss that teacher’s side of education. I still want to be involved in that way, too.

“My favorite thing in the morning is car duty. I did bus duty last year, so I got to interact with the students that way, but this year, I am getting to visit with the parents, the little brothers and sisters, who bring their students to school. Most students come to school by bus, but we have a pretty good car line every morning, too.”

Steinbeck is a member of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She is a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Conway and has been visiting Grace United Methodist Church in East End.

Steinbeck said her hobbies include supporting the Arkansas Razorbacks.

“I love the Razorbacks. My dad was a huge fan, … hence, the name of his business, Razorback Towel Service, which he operated in Conway and Mountain Home,” she said.

“I also enjoy reading, mostly professional books, and I love my dogs. I have two Chihuahuas and one weenie dog (dachshund),” Steinbeck said. “They are my babies. Two are named for Razorbacks —

Peyton for Peyton Hillis, who is from Conway, and Felix for Felix Jones. The other is named Petey Diablo.

“I also love NASCAR racing. I have never been to a race but would love to go. I love to watch it on TV. In fact, I am a huge sports fan, period. I watch a lot of ESPN.”

Steinbeck and her husband, Jeff Steinbeck, have been married for one year. He is a firefighter with the Little Rock Fire Department. They live in Hensley.

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