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Head of the class: KU graduate returns to Lawrence as CJHS principal

Anna Stubblefield is the new principal at Central Junior High School, 1400 Mass.

Anna Stubblefield is the new principal at Central Junior High School, 1400 Mass.

October 13, 2008

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Anna Stubblefield

USED TO BE an assistant principal in the Blue Valley School District; before that she taught special education and communication arts at Center High School in Kansas City, Mo.

TWO-TIME JAYHAWK Stubblefield earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas University; she holds an education specialist degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and is pursuing a doctorate from St. Louis University.

MARRIED to David, a teacher. They have three sons, Nate, 15, Desmond, 10, and Grant, 3.

The life of a principal is hectic, but perhaps never more so than when starting a school year in a new place. Anna Stubblefield, who began serving as Central Junior High School's principal in August, has met the challenges of being a principal head-on. The Kansas City, Mo., native and Kansas University graduate says her colleagues and students have made for an easy transition from her last position, where she was an assistant principal in the Blue Valley School District.

Q: How has it been returning to Lawrence?

A: It has actually been a very good transition. I think Lawrence is a great place to work because of the autonomy they give to administrators and teachers. It's actually very refreshing because even though, districtwide, our students do very well, they still emphasize educating the whole child.

Q: What are your top three goals for the year?

A: 1. One would be to build strong relationships with the parents, the students, the staff, the teachers, where we know we can trust each other and know we're making the best decisions for learning.

2. For students to grow and improve in all areas, academically, athletically and in their extracurricular activities. Just to constantly improve and grow.

3. To finish my dissertation (which is on school leadership and alternative education).

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?

A: A lot of teachers influenced me as well as family members that were educators, so I always knew about the field. So after I took (an intro to education class) and did some observations here (at Central), I decided that that was the best fit for me. You have lot of opportunities to always learn. I love to share knowledge and to see people grow in different areas.

Q: What is the most important thing your students have taught you?

A: Kids are kids, but they all want to be treated with respect, and all of them want us to know that they are individuals, and if you respect them and their individual personalities, you will get a lot further than to try and just lump them together. ... If you make a personal connection with them, you'll make far more gains than if you don't.

Q: What is something interesting about yourself that people don't know?

A: (Laughs) I'm not a reality show junkie, but there are some shows that I am addicted to: "Big Brother," "America's Next Top Model," "Project Runway" and "The Amazing Race."

Q: What does it mean to be a Mustang?

A: To be a Mustang means that you're strong and that you take pride in whatever you do. We ask the students here to do their best, and that's all that we ask of them.

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