The new principal of West Marion Elementary School is not new to the district or to the children who will be in her charge this upcoming school year. Beth Boutwell was an interventionist at West Marion Primary School over the past four years.
Boutwell will officially take the new position over on July 1 but has been working all month to get ready.
In 2018, Boutwell earned her master's degree in educational leadership. She has previously taught for 26 years in first and fifth grades and as a gifted teacher for 18 of those years. As an interventionist for four years, she learned to understand the data aspect of education.
Boutwell was the director of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers at Columbia Elementary School for five years. Last summer she directed summer school for Marion County Public Schools grades K-6, and last year she was the West Marion director of the Save the Children after school program.
Her goal has been to be in some form of leadership but still have a level of access to the children because she loves being around them.
"I feel God has placed me at this location at this time," Boutwell said. "There is so much I am excited about. I am excited to be able to reach more students and be effective in their learning and to interact with new teachers. I already know the kids from the primary school. I am excited for a new challenge.”
While every administrator can and does set goals, Boutwell already has her plan to reach her goals mapped out, and it includes loving every student.
"My goal for the year is to create an environment where everyone who enters feels safe and welcomed and loved and all students will grow academically. This will be achieved through using data, being intentional, communicating, motivating and holding high expectations," she said. "If nowhere else, they will know they will be loved at school."
Boutwell has been married to Bill Boutwell for 32 years. She said her greatest accomplishments are her daughter Laurie-Beth, who is a leasing agent in Boston, and her son, Allen, who is in the National Guard and is a deputy with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.