Love Of Chil­dren In­spires Prin­ci­pal

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Dick­er­son

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.

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