STEPHENVILLE (Oct 26, 2015)- In honor of October being Principal’s Month, The Flash Today is interviewing the principal of every campus in the Stephenville Independent School District. Today, meet Renee Goodwin, principal of Henderson Junior High.
Renee Goodwin, five year principal for Henderson Junior High, has lived in Stephenville all of her life. She, her parents and her children all attended Stephenville schools growing up. Being a part of SISD is practically tradition. Goodwin is married to Phillip Goodwin and has two children, Ty and Cassie. Ty is completing his student teaching and athletic training internship in Dublin after attending Howard Payne University. Cassie is a music education major and vocalist at Tarleton State University.
Goodwin and her family sing on Sundays at Oakwood Assisted Living where Goodwin’s grandmother lives. They sing acapella church choir music and, with their range of voices, cover all four parts.
“I love singing,” Goodwin said. “Every Tuesday night, I practice with the Cross Timbers Civic Chorale. It’s my opportunity to get to sing with Cassie. Everything I do for a hobby is musical.”
Goodwin attended Tarleton State University and earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and her master’s degree in education administration, where she also got her principal’s certification. Because she was not sure teaching was what she wanted to do, Goodwin waited until after she earned her master’s degree to student teach. She taught the third grade at Hook Elementary until accepting an assistant principal position in Mineral Wells for three years. Goodwin was also an assistant principal at Stephenville High School before becoming the Henderson Junior High principal.
“It just seemed like a natural progression from teaching,” Goodwin said. “I was fortunate to have a principal in Mineral Wells that included me a lot in her role, so I was more prepared for this job.”
Both the best and most difficult parts of the position for Goodwin is the relationships with the kids. She has the ability to influence and help more students, but at the same time, the higher up one goes, the less interaction one has with the kids.
“That’s when we get out in the classrooms and in the halls,” Goodwin said. “You’ll probably hear most administrators say that they miss kids sometimes.”
Goodwin first became interested in becoming a principal while working and studying as a graduate student at Tarleton. She and several professors were conducting a study on the TEKS and created a program for principals to anonymously participate in for self-growth. The process caused Goodwin to believe that becoming a principal was something that she would enjoy.
“I have a lot of love in my heart for this school district because I was born and raised here,” Goodwin said. “This is a part of me; it’s a part of my life.”
For Goodwin, the junior high students are enjoyable because they are “quirky.” The kids still want to be young, but they want to be treated as older students too. Goodwin sees Henderson as a transition school for many students.
“The thing that is most important to me is that they leave with some sense of being a better person in this world, that we’ve taught them that,” Goodwin said. “If our kids leave here being prepared for high school and they can leave here being more understanding of others and knowing the importance of contributing to your community, that’s my end goal for all of my students that go through this school.”