Anna Stubblefield Interview
Anna Stubblefield in April saw the advertisement for a new Central Junior High School principal.
Even though it was late in the school year, the Kansas University alumna and assistant principal at a Blue Valley middle school couldn't resist sending her resume.
"I just thought how this would be a great opportunity to go full-circle where I initially made a decision to become a teacher," Stubblefield said on Wednesday, when Lawrence administrators announced her selection as the new principal.
Her history with the city's oldest junior high school includes observing teachers there when she was a KU student trying to decide whether she wanted to pursue education as a major.
Her enthusiasm for Central boosted her chances in interviews on Monday, those involved in the process said. Four candidates interviewed with school staff members, parents and students who presented information to Superintendent Randy Weseman, who made the final decision.
"She's just a very experienced, dedicated educator who had a true interest in Central dating back many years," said Carolyn Montney, a Central seventh-grade geography teacher who served on the advisory committee for the interviews.
Stubblefield will replace third-year Principal Frank Harwood, who will become the district's division director of technology in July. Because the principal position became open in April, administrators had kept open the possibility of appointing an interim principal if they were not satisfied with the quality of candidates.
But administrators, teachers and parents said they chose from a strong field of applicants.
"Anna Stubblefield is really intelligent, very experienced and connects with people. Those things right there could put you over the top," Weseman said.
Stubblefield has earned bachelor's and master's degrees from KU and an educational specialist's degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She is finishing her doctorate at St. Louis University.
When she graduated from KU, she taught special education and coached basketball and track for four years in the Center school district in Missouri. She recently finished her sixth year as assistant principal at Prairie Star Middle School in Leawood.
She is married to David Stubblefield, a teacher and coach in the Blue Valley district. They live in Olathe, and she plans to commute to Lawrence for now. They have three sons, ages 15, 10 and 3. The oldest boy, Anna Stubblefields' stepson, recently finished school at Central and will attend Free State High School in August.
Her experience working in two school districts with different demographics also helped Stubblefield's selection chances.
Robbie Derritt, a co-leader of Central's parent group, said Stubblefield seemed to be a good fit for the school.
"She has a lot of experience with students of diverse backgrounds and abilities, from high achievers to students with many challenges," he said.
Stubblefield said she plans to begin working with Central teachers to assess needs of each student and to figure out what support systems need to be put into place.
The teachers involved in the interview process also left an impression on her, much like they did when she observed there as an undergraduate.
"They want to continue to build and grow and improve, and they're really well-informed," she said.