CLOPTON – As Stephanie Grimes sat down for an interview in the early August, she was excited to get started with her first school year as the principal at Clopton Elementary.
“[It’s] busy but exciting. I love the beginning of the school year,” Grimes said.
Grimes was appointed to the position by the Pike County R-III school board after Linda Henderson retired earlier this year.
Grimes said she planned to focus on “revamping” the school’s reading series and strengthening the school’s math program.
Grimes graduated from Bowling Green High School in 2004. She attended college at William Woods University in Fulton, Mo.
As a teacher, she worked for seven years at Louisiana Elementary, where she taught second grade and then four years at Clopton, where she taught first grade and then served as a Title I teacher, responsible for the school’s federal literacy program.
Although she attended school elsewhere, Grimes lived in Eolia and is married to a 2004 graduate from Clopton, Drew Grimes, and felt a calling to work at the school. Her son, Luke, is currently attending kindergarten at Clopton.
“I always knew I wanted to come back here,” Grimes said.
Grimes credited encouragement from Erik Melton, her principal, while she was at Louisiana, for her decision to move into an administrative role.
“He saw a lot of potential in me, and asked if I had considered it. I always felt like I had leadership qualities, so I just followed his lead,” Grimes said.
“I ended up loving it — loving doing the stuff he challenged me with. From there, it just kind of took off,” Grimes added.