Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune
---- — In a year when Batesville Community School Corp. leaders have had to hire top administrators for three of four schools, Batesville Primary School principal Heather Haunert is the newest, approved by trustees July 15.
When she learned the news, the 39-year-old felt “fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play such an important role at a great school. BPS holds a very special place in my heart.”
She is glad to continue her association with BCSC, which she calls “a standout school corporation. It’s filled with dedicated people who truly care about students. I’ve spent my entire teaching career in Batesville and can’t fathom being part of any other corporation.”
This age group appeals to her. “I love working with primary-aged children. They are curious and excited about learning.”
When asked why she wants to be a principal, Haunert replied, “Being an educator makes up who I am as a person. I am naturally a helpful, caring person who wants to make a difference. My various positions within the school corporation have given me a unique opportunity to see various aspects of education. As principal, I hope to use those traits and skills to help BPS continue its excellence.”
The Greensburg High School graduate earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education with kindergarten endorsement at Butler University in 1996 and a Master of Education degree in educational leadership at the University of Cincinnati in 2006.
The Greensburg native and resident began her career as a BPS third-grade teacher for one year, then worked as an office manager at Lingeman Medical Products, Indianapolis, for three years before returning here. She served as the media specialist at BPS and Batesville Intermediate School from 2000-06, then was the instructional technology specialist at BPS, BIS and St. Louis School from 2006-08 before switching to teaching fifth-grade reading and language arts at BIS until now.
Over the years, the enthusiastic woman has added experience as a grant writer, English/language arts curriculum coordinator and grade level team leader. She also has been a workshop presenter on two topics, literacy stations and differentiated instruction.
When not at school, Haunert enjoys two favorite pastimes. Besides being an avid reader, she reveals, “My family (husband Steve, a Decatur County farmer; Jack, 12; and Audrey, 10) and I love to camp at nearby state parks.”
Now the educator is looking at the bigger picture. “As a classroom teacher, I had a direct impact on my students. As a principal, I am able to support and positively impact all students, teachers and staff at BPS. I can’t wait to see all the great things happening in our classrooms!”
The transition from instructor to administrator has been easier for this insider than someone new to the district. “I am lucky to have been part of BCSC, so I feel like I’ve been able to hit the ground running with many things. I would say the most immediate challenge is making sure things are up and running for the start of school quickly approaching.”
Once her hiring became public, the new principal reports, “I am humbled at the outpouring of support from students, teachers and the community.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.