STEPHENVILLE (Oct. 27, 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 Mary Laigle, principal of Gilbert Intermediate.
Mary Laigle, principal of Gilbert Intermediate, hails from Mineral Wells. She has been married to Kevin Laigle, a funeral director mortician at a Mineral Wells funeral home, for 23 years. Laigle’s has three children, two sons and a daughter. Brian Laigle works as a police officer in Grand Prairie. Sheldon Laigle is a firefighter for Texas A&M Forest Fire, and Hannah Laigle is a junior in high school.
In her free time, Laigle takes photographs, likes traveling and rides her horses. She also enjoys caring for and petting the Brahman cows that she and her husband own.
“I think I was probably five years old when I started school, and I decided I wanted to be a teacher,” Laigle said. “So, I feel like I’ve been a teacher my whole life.”
Laigle grew up in Mineral Wells, graduated and attended California State University in Fresno. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, then returned to Texas and earned her master’s degree in administration and her principal’s certification at Tarleton State University. Laigle began her teaching career as a sixth grade math and science teacher in Mineral Wells and worked there for 11 years. She then taught GT and ESL at the first grade level for three years. Laigle then accepted the position of assistant principal at the pre-K through first grade campus. She has also served at the fourth through sixth campus and at the high school in Mineral Wells before becoming the principal at Gilbert Intermediate.
“It is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Laigle said of the opportunity to work at Stephenville ISD.
Although Laigle was originally hesitant to make the transition from teacher to principal, she greatly enjoys working on this level with teachers and parents. Laigle loves getting to see decisions she has made work out for the school and watching her students and teachers evolve. For her, getting to make decisions is both a positive and negative experience.
“The buck stops here,” Laigle said. “You make the decisions and sometimes it doesn’t work out and you take the fall for it.”
Laigle most appreciates Stephenville’s forward thinking and the high expectations the district has. She said that Stephenville excels at every area and has a very good reputation.
“These are my favorite kids in my whole career,” Laigle said of the Gilbert students. “They’re old enough to tie their own shoes and wipe their noses, and they’re fun enough to get my quirky little jokes. They’re very independent and you can do a whole lot with them.”
Professionally, Laigle plans to continue working on her own development. She receives principal training as a member of the Effective Schools Project through Tarleton State University, along with the other principals of the district.
“I just want to be that strong support for my teachers so that they can do the best that they can to make the students successful,” Laigle said.