|Community Christian hires new principal|
|May 07, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Long-time Westmoor teacher Deirdre Amundsen has been named the new principal at Community Christian School.
After an almost year-long search, administrators at Community Christian School found their new principal not that far away – teaching at the neighboring Westmoor Elementary School in Scottsbluff.
Deirdre Amundsen has been teaching at Westmoor for the past 16 years, teaching a variety of grade levels: kindergarten, first, fourth and fifth.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of different committees and workshops involved in curriculum,” she said. “I’ve received a lot of additional training in a lot of areas.”
She added she’s had her administrative degree for about 11 years, but was waiting for the right fit for her next move, which led her to Community Christian.
Deirdre earned her Associate’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Wyoming College. Her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education with an endorsement in early childhood education is from Chadron State College. She also earned a Master of Arts degree in elementary administration at Chadron.
“Common Core causes a lot of pressure in many states when it comes to testing,” Deirdre said. “Fortunately, Nebraska doesn’t have that yet and we live in a state where there’s more flexibility with testing.”
She will become the new CCS principal in June, and said there are many differences between public and parochial education. “This is an exciting position because we can strive to meet all the state standards but also teach Biblical truth. Kids are able to read the Bible and teachers can pray with their students. I can not only use my educational skills, but also my spiritual gifts and do both things.”
Deirdre knows the job of principal will require wearing many hats. In addition to being an administrator working with other teachers and the school board, she might also fill in as a teacher, and even take on custodian duties if needed.
“The hardest part of the job is that I’m stepping away from teaching every day because I love to teach,” she said. “I’ll still be teaching, but I’ll be making a bigger impact than just my class of 23 students. This job is a great way to do that at a smaller school.”
With an enrollment of 179 students, Community Christian covers pre-K through eighth grade.
“I’ve had such good support from my friends and family to continue pursuing that next step, but when this position came up, I knew it was the right fit,” Deirdre said. “From the very beginning, it was what I was supposed to do.”
She comes from a family of educators. Her husband teaches at Bluffs Middle School. With three children, they’re involved in sports and other activities. And the family is also active in their home church, Mitchell Berean.
“There have been some changes in leadership and the school’s ready for a new vision,” she said. “We want to work with the board and move on to the next level and decide what our goals are for the future.”
Community Christian has purchased land in Gering for a new school building. But Deirdre said there’s a lot to be done before that can every happen. It will take dedication from the board, administration, teaching staff and the great families who are invested in their children’s education.
“We’re all looking at which direction the school should go and what God’s plan is for these kids and for this ministry of Community Christian,” she said.