Love Of Children Inspires Principal
Paulette Pattengill, the new principal at Pineville Primary School, has always loved children, and when she was deciding what career she wanted to go into, she thought teaching would be her best bet to get to work with them all the time.
She is in her 11th year with McDonald County Schools, and this is her first year as an administrator.
Pattengill grew up in Missouri and graduated from high school at Hollister. She moved to Arkansas with her husband and went to college at the University of Arkansas, where she earned her teaching degree. In her first year of teaching, she went back to college to get her master’s degree at Arkansas State University, and in her ninth year of teaching in 2016, she went to Arkansas State University again and got her specialist degree in administration.
As for her teaching career, her first eight years were spent at Anderson Elementary as a thirdgrade teacher, and she spent two years at Anderson Elementary as an instructional coach for math.
Asked what caused her to decide
to become an administrator, she said, “My passion for kids. The thing I like most about administration is I get to deal with all facets of the school. I get to work with the kids. I get to work with the teachers and the staff. I love working as a team to make the best decisions for our kids.”
Pattengill has one major goal for the school year, which involves focusing on the school’s relationship with the community. She is starting a new program called Pineville Pals in an effort to build a relationship between the school and the community.
“We started off the year getting on a bus; my staff got on a bus, we drove through Pineville, stopped at a bunch of businesses and invited them to our first Pineville Pals meeting. That program is all about bridging the gap between our community and school — having community members come into the school and do activities with the kids. That will help kids understand what kind of people there are in the community. That’s our focus for the year.”
Pattengill added, “I guess I’m just amazed at how welcoming the staff has been and how well they work together. They’re like a big family here and they welcomed me in, and that has been a blessing. The kids are so well-behaved and they love school, and that makes my job easy.”
She also shared her philosophy on education.
“My philosophy in education is to always make it student-centered,” she said. “When I have to make really tough decisions, the question is solely based on what’s best for that child.”
She noted she also focuses on building relationships.
“I just feel like, when you’re student-centered and you build those relationships, that’s when we’re the most successful,” she said.
Paulette Pattengill is the new principal at Pineville Primary School. She became an educator because she has always loved children.