PRINCIPAL AT USD 418 WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY

A PERSON MAKING MCPHERSON COUNTY EDUCATION TICK!

By William for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

{Note: The information for this profile was done before the historic change of schooling caused by the coronavirus pandemic.}

MCPHERSON – With this profile of the People of Education in McPherson County – we focus on Jill Beam, Principal of Washington Elementary School in McPherson USD 418!

So many folks work hard at making the educating of our future generations work, that we feel it is important to know who they are and get to know a little bit about them, their job, their background and what makes them tick in making their work within their school district tick.

WHO IS JILL BEAM?

Jill Beam is originally from Syracuse, Kansas in Western Kansas. Syracuse is only 16 miles from the Colorado/Kansas border.

After graduating from Syracuse High School, Beam attended and graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Beam will have been married to husband Todd for 26 years in July and they have two daughters:

  • Katelyn who just completed her freshman year at Kansas State University
  • Kassidy who is 17 and will be a senior this fall at McPherson High School.

During her off time, Beam enjoys baking, reading, and watching the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team. She admits that her favorite hobby most of the past 10 years as been attending the sporting events involving Katelyn and Kassidy, which meant seeing a whole lot of cross country meets, basketball games and track events.

WHAT DID JILL BEAM DO BEFORE ARRIVING HERE?

After graduating from Kansas State University, Beam took her first teaching job here in McPherson as a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher for USD 418 at McPherson Middle School in 1993.

She spent four years at the Middle School before transferring to Washington Elementary School to become a fourth-grade teacher for another two years.

It was during that time that both Beam and her husband Todd received their Master of Education degrees from Wichita State University specializing in Educational Administration.

Moving to Pratt County in 1999, the Beams served in administrative roles for seven years before moving back to McPherson in 2006 so they could raise their girls in the McPherson community and allow them the opportunity to attend USD 418 schools.

Besides working within USD 418 since her return in 2006, Beam has also served as a supervisor for student teachers through Fort Hays State University for several years and is currently serving as a mentor in the Kansas Educational Leadership Institute (KELI) for a beginning first year administrator in a neighboring school district.

WHAT DOES JILL BEAM’S CURRENT POSITION REQUIRE OF HER?

According to Jill Beam, her main role as Principal of Washington Elementary School in McPherson is to help foster and support a positive school environment where students and staff feel safe, valued, connected and ready to learn.

She also notes that she is responsible for the supervision of certified and classified staff while also overseeing the day-to-day operations of the school.

Among other duties, Beam adds that she also must manage the building/school budget, help build schedules and assist in hiring staff.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER SOME OF THE MOST REWARDING ASPECTS OF YOUR POSITION?

Discussing some of the more rewarding aspects of her position as principal of an elementary school, Beam points out how she has, “always been incredibly impressed by the community of McPherson and the strong support for education.”

From the All School’s Day celebration to nights of basketball and volleyball in the Roundhouse, Beam loves how tradition rich the community is and the value they place on the youth within it.

Another strong reward for Beam is, “working with the other elementary principals within USD 418 such as Chris Allen at Eisenhower Elementary, Cody Rierson at Lincoln Elementary and her husband, Todd, at Roosevelt Elementary. We all work closely together and function well as a team.”

In addition to everything else, Beam expressed how thankful she was for the wonderful staff that she gets to work with at Washington Elementary.

Beam smiled as she stated, “No doubt this group of individuals love the kids and works so hard to give them the best educational experience possible.”

WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THE CURRENT AND FUTURE OF WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY (in her words)?

When looking at the current and future times of her career at Washington Elementary, Beam points out that, “My favorite thing about this position I have is that no two days are ever the same. I love the moment-to-moment happenings that come with being an elementary school principal and that every day offers its own new challenges.”

Once again, Beam also offered thoughts about her staff that works with her every day, concluding her comments by saying, “I am incredibly blessed to work with everyone at Washington Elementary. The school is blessed with an awesome group of students with very supportive families, and the Washington staff is in a league of their own and truly do understand that it takes a village to give the students the educational experience that they deserve.”

WHAT IS SOME OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS YOU DEAL WITH IN YOUR POSITION?

When asked about the most difficult things that she has to deal with as a principal of an elementary school, Beam responded by commenting about how her answer now would be completely different than it would have been before the pandemic changed everything about education.

Beam did say that she has spent the final semester of the 2019-20 school year helping lead the Washington Elementary staff through online learning due to the pandemic and admits that it has been a very unique challenge to say the least.

She acknowledges being so proud of the entire USD 418 district though as everyone has stepped up, demonstrated flexibility, and made the most of a stressful time in education and in the world.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR JILL BEAM?

Typical as it is with Jill Beam, when questioned about what the future holds for her, she instead reflected on her school, her staff, and her students by recognizing a recognition they received.

“Our school was recently notified that we are being recognized as a ‘Capturing Kids’ Hearts’ (CKH) National Showcase School for our work with implementing ‘Capturing Kids’ Hearts’ practices in our building and establishing strong relationships with our students,” Beam noted. “With this honor comes the opportunity to have other schools visit our building so I am super excited to network and share with other educators the great things going on at Washington Elementary School here in McPherson.”

FINAL THOUGHTS:

We must say that even the picture that Jill wanted us to use gave us a view of her typical attitude toward the job she loves so much, as it was one of her enjoying time with a few of the students at Washington Elementary.

There you have it folks, an introduction and insight to another of our many strong, faithful, and positive administrative leaders found within the many fine and outstanding school districts of the McPherson County area.

Jill Beam, Principal at Washington Elementary School in McPherson, personifies an individual that finds total enjoyment and wonder at the opportunity to lead an elementary school for the sake and future of each and every student that she has the opportunity to teach and reach.

If you get the chance, like with any other district leaders, give Jill Beam a greeting next time you see or talk with her. Give her a smile and a sincere thank you for being willing to push herself, as well as the Washington Elementary staff and students to the next levels of education and life success.

(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)

(Copyright@2020 by CrossDove Writers. No copy or reuse of this article can be made without written permission of CrossDove Writers.)

(Follow us at www.mcpherson-county-ks.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/mcphersoncountyks/)