New principals gear up for school year

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By Tom Wilmoth

    Don’t look now, but in less than a month students in Bedford and Bedford County will be headed back to school.

    Surely that’s not a collective “noooooooo!” being heard from the students, about the looming August 22 date, is it?
    It can’t be. There are too many folks getting ready for their return. Among them are some new principals at four of the schools: Bedford Primary, Montvale Elementary, Big Island Elementary and Staunton River Middle School.
    Let’s meet them:

Krista Moore: Montvale Elementary
    Krista Moore is the new principal at Montvale Elementary School, taking over for Janet Brouhard who retired.
    Moore most recently served as assistant principal at Goodview Elementary School. She has been employed by Bedford County Schools since 2000, serving as a classroom teacher at Liberty High School and as AP English Lead Teacher for Bedford County Schools.
    Prior to her arrival in Bedford County, Moore served as a teacher for Amherst County Schools. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lynchburg College.
    “I’m just thrilled. I’m honored to be out here in this community,” Moore said about her new position. “It’s a great school.”
    Her first days at the school have given her the opportunity to begin meeting parents, staff and some students.
    “Everybody is unified and supportive of the students here,” she said.
    Moore said she pursued moving into administration after one of her former administrators encouraged her to do so.
    She was able to take advantage of a cohort at Lynchburg College that allowed her to develop working relationships with other educators. “Those relationships are going to last a long time,” she said of the opportunity.
    Moore said her instructional background will help bring that focus to the school and her position, along with knowing what the students will be facing once they advance from the elementary level to middle school. Her focus on early childhood literacy has helped her to get to know the teachers at different schools as well as all facets of the educational process.
    Moore grew up in Amherst County and has family rooted in Bedford County. “I consider myself a Bedford County girl now,” she said. “We love living here; we love Bedford County.”
    And she’s looking forward to her new role at Montvale. “I just feel privileged to be a part of that,” she said of working with the students, parents and community as a whole.

Lisa Dellis:  Bedford Primary School
    Longtime Bedford County educator Lisa Dellis takes over as principal at Bedford Primary, a school which the community rallied around this past year to save from being closed.
    Dellis is looking forward to working with that close-knit community.
    She moves over to BPS having last served as assistant principal at Bedford Elementary School. She has been employed by Bedford County Schools since 1998, and previously served as a teacher at Huddleston, Thaxton, and Bedford Elementary schools.
    Dellis served as assistant principal at Bedford Elementary from 2009 through the 2010-2011 school year. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Lynchburg College, and has earned two master’s degrees: one in special education from Old Dominion University in 2007, the other in educational leadership from Lynchburg College in 2007 as well.
    Dellis has been splitting time between BES and BPS the past few weeks, helping out with summer school.
    “I’m looking forward to meeting all of the staff and students and parents (at BPS) and having a great start to our year,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working with the community and the parents. … The community is absolutely wonderful as far as being supportive.”
    Her goal: to continue to ensure that the students at BPS get the best education possible. The school this year will have fewer students than the past several years, with second grade moving over to BES for 2011-2012.
    “I have an open door policy,” she said. “I like to speak with parents and resolve issues before they become problems.”
    A life-long resident of Bedford County, Dellis said she is committed to the students here in the county.
    “I’m thrilled to be back with the little ones and beginning another year,” she said. “I plan to lead the school the best I possibly can.”
    She said the staff and community will work together to be a team and support the students in any way they need. That includes keeping a close working relationship with the teachers and administration at Bedford Elementary, where the students transfer to after leaving BPS.
    “We continue to do things together throughout the year,” she said of the two schools. “We are very much looking forward to the beginning of the year.”

Tim Overstreet: Staunton River Middle School
    Tim Overstreet, the division’s math and science coordinator, has left that position to take over as principal at Staunton River Middle School. Patricia Johnson, who has been serving as the school’s principal, is moving to Central Office to become a school improvement instructional coach.
    Overstreet has been employed by Bedford County Schools since 1994, and previously served as an assistant principal at Liberty High School. Overstreet’s 16 year career at Liberty High School included stints as an academic team coach, National Honor Society adviser, testing co-coordinator, advanced chemistry teacher and assistant principal. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College in 1993, and obtained a master’s degree from Lynchburg College in 2007.
    “I’m very excited,” he said of being named principal at the school. “This is the community which I live in.”
    Overstreet said his new role allows him to work with students in a new way. “It gives me even greater opportunities and responsibilities to make a difference with instruction at this school.”
    He comes at a good time. SRMS has been getting a facelift of sorts this summer including having carpeting removed and getting new floors.
    For the past few weeks he has been working with the three-week summer remediation program, which has been relying heavily on technology for instruction.
    “It’s a great experience for the children to see math and reading in a different way,” Overstreet said.
    He said the school’s community support is strong. “They want to be involved with their children,” he said, adding that there are several partnerships with businesses as well. “We all work as a team together,” he said.
    Since the announcement in April, Overstreet has had several opportunities to spend time at SRMS to prepare for the transition and “watch the inner workings of the school and sit in on some meetings.”
    Most of the students already recognize who he is. “I think that will be very beneficial as we start the new year,” Overstreet said.
    He believes in hard work and owns a beef cattle farm. “I’m invested in this community. This is where I want to be,” he said. “I believe in hard work for everybody.”
    And he sees the potential at SRMS. “I expect to see great things from the children in this school,” he said.
    His wife, Heather, is a teacher at Staunton River High School and they have two children who attend Goodview Elementary.

Wayne Lyle: Big Island Elementary
    Wayne Lyle is the new principal at Big Island Elementary, but he’s certainly familiar with the position. He served as principal at Bedford Primary School from 2007-2011.
    And he’s looking forward to building upon the foundation left by Deborah Shelton, who retired from the school as its principal this past year.
    Lyle began his education career as a second grade teacher at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Franklin County (1995-2001) and served as an assistant principal at Blacksburg Middle School in Montgomery County  in 2001-2002. He joined the Bedford County Public School system in 2002, serving as a fourth grade teacher at Forest Elementary School until 2005, where he was also named the school’s Teacher of the Year. Lyle served as assistant principal at Stewartsville Elementary from 2005-2007 before moving over to BPS.
    He earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Radford University,  a M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from UVA and an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from UVA.
    He had a chance during summer school to begin meeting with some parents and staff.
    “This is a hardworking group of people,” he said. “I just want to jump right in and become a part of the team.”
    Lyle grew up in Bedford County and went through its school system.
    “I look forward to getting to know everyone to making it the best school year we can,” he said. “Students are my foremost priority. I’m looking forward to a great school year.”
    And the view’s not too bad either.
    “It’s beautiful out here,” he said. “The school is located in a beautiful part of the county.”