New Lincoln Heights principal ready to help students explore

By Curtis Wildfong • Last Updated 9:59 am on Friday, July 25, 2014

GREENVILLE — In her several years in education, new Lincoln Heights Elementary School Principal Katy Beebe lives for that moment when it all clicks for her students.

“It’s awesome to watch those light bulbs come on and kids learn,” said Beebe, who will replace Michelle Blaszczynski, who took over as the Greenville district’s chief academic officer for the retiring Diane Brissette. “I love kids and I love to spend time with kids.”

And elementary-aged students are her real passion.

“They are just so ready to learn and they are just so much fun,” she said. “They love to come and explore and it’s our job to encourage them to learn and explore.”

Beebe comes to Lincoln Heights from Harrison Park Elementary School in the Grand Rapids Public Schools system, where she served as assistant principal for the last four years. Prior to that she taught second through fourth grades at the elementary school.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University and later her master’s degree from Cornerstone University. She also has an education specialist degree in leadership from GVSU.

Beebe, a Cadillac native, will officially take over Aug. 4, but has already been acquainting herself with the Greenville community.

“The community here seems so welcoming,” she said. “Everyone is so kind and welcoming. Everyone has been over welcoming and kind.”

She said Blaszczynski has been helping her in the transition.

“I’ve really been blessed because Michelle did such a great job and has been working with me,” she said.

Beebe said she looks forward to coming to Greenville, a much smaller district than Grand Rapids, where Harrison Park Elementary School housed about 1,000 students.

“You really get to build relationships with the people you work with,” she said. “It’s more collaborative and everybody works together.”

Greenville Superintendent Pete Haines said Beebe was the perfect fit among a group of highly talented candidates.

“The bottom line is that we found, among a strong pool of candidates, a best match for our profile. She comes with not only wide ranging experience, but a collection of  key skills that will help her serve our children well,” he said. “She is clearly an instructional leader. We were looking for someone to join our leadership team who could bring ideas that challenge us all. She brings that energy and vision. She’s a great fit for Lincoln Heights, and for Greenville.”

Beebe said the first task will be meeting with staff and parents of Lincoln Heights and then begin preparation for the school year.

As far as goals, she said to continue the down the path Blaszczynski has taken the school.

“Lincoln Heights is doing amazing,” Beebe said. “It’s on a forward track so (the goal is) to just keeping that forward momentum going.”

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