The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

May 1, 2013

Fields: Decision to retire hard, but 'it’s time'

LAPEL, Ind. — Next year, Lapel Elementary Principal Woody Fields won’t have kids offering him hugs when they get off the bus.

He won’t see any smiling faces while walking the halls of the school.

He won’t because he’s retiring.

Fields has been an educator for 43 years and principal of Lapel Elementary for nine. He’s also been a sixth grade teacher, Frankton-Lapel’s athletic director and a coach in four varsity sports: girls softball and basketball, and boys wrestling and football -- both boys programs he helped start.

He had chances to head elsewhere when he was younger, but said he was happy right where he was in Lapel.

“I just enjoy being here and the people,” he said. “I guess that’s the reason.”

Fields loves the students and is proud to have worked with a good team of teachers and administrators.

And it’s not just the teachers and staff who want the kids to do well, he added. Many of the parents have been actively involved.

“Everybody is working for the same things,” he said. “We’ve accomplished a lot with everybody willing to be a team.”

Former principal Genny Zetterberg, who currently serves as the corporation’s director of reading, Title I, highability and English as a Second Language, said it’s been fun to watch Fields transition from teacher to principal.

“The kids think he’s wonderful. He’s very personable,” she said. “He loves the kids and they love him.”

She looks forward to "being back with the kids every day,” though.

One of Fields’ greatest challenges has been keeping the school moving in the right direction. It’s something, though, he said he feels has been accomplished with the help of teachers and staff.

Last year, Lapel Elementary received an ‘A’ grade from the Indiana Department of Education and saw the highest percentage of students passing both the math and English/language arts sections of the ISTEP test in the county.

“One of the most rewarding is seeing the kids become adults, leaders in the community, and teaching their children,” Fields said.

Superintendent Bobby Fields was one of his students and assistant coaches. He also coached Assistant Superintendent Sterling Boles.

Fields said watching students like them become successful is one rewarding aspect of being an educator that many outside of the education world don’t think about.

Once he’s finished and his wife, Joanne, retires just months later, Fields said, they plan to travel and spend more time with their grandchildren.

He’s a history buff so an unhurried trip to Washington, D.C. is first on the list.

While Fields said it’s time to leave, it’s not going to be easy to stay away.

“Everything that’s happened to me happened while I was in this building,” he said.

He was a student, met his wife at and student taught at Lapel before getting a full time job there.

“It kind of grows on you.”

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

1
Text Only
Local Education
  • FEA - HB0728 - Fresh Orientation - SH Elwood freshmen learn the ways of high school through mentoring program About half the 112 incoming freshmen at Elwood Jr./Sr. High School got a jump on their friends recently by attending a freshman orientation session. Joan Mercer, an English teacher who helped organize the the orientation, said the mentor program, which has been in place for several years, has been effective in new students make the high school transition.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0727 - Teacher Blessing - 13 Church's donation a blessing for teachers Thirty teachers attended the second annual Blessings for Teachers on Saturday at Anderson First Baptist Church.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 24th Back-to-School parade and picnic on Aug. 2 The 24th annual Ollie H. Dixon Back-to-School parade and picnic will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, in conjunction with the Anderson Parks Department.

    July 26, 2014

  • Elwood schools seek election change Elwood Community Schools is seeking to change the process for the way that members of the school board will be elected starting with the November election.

    July 25, 2014

  • South Madison superintendent contract OK'd South Madison Community Schools officials Thursday unanimously ratified a new three-year contract for Superintendent Joe Buck, and approved textbook fees for middle and high school students.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy Madison County grad rates and test scores improve, but still lag state High school graduation rates and standardized test scores in English, math and science all improved among public school students in Madison County from 2009 to 2013, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pay for South Madison soccer coaches under review An ad hoc parent group wants the South Madison Community Schools board to consider raising the stipend for Pendleton Heights High School soccer coaches.

    July 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0721 - Rotary Exchange - JC 1 Foreign exchange program builds lasting friendships Paulina Berger returned to her hometown in Olpe, Germany on Friday, but she left something important behind: part of her heart. The 16-year-old spent a year living with three host families in Anderson as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0721 ISU Normal Hall Work underway to restore ISU's Normal Hall The sounds of heavy equipment, impact drills and even a large wrecking ball are evidence of a renovation underway at Normal Hall, Indiana State University's oldest academic building.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • HHS class of '66 seeks classmates The Highland High School Class of '66 will host its 48th class reunion on Aug. 23. Contact information is needed for several classmates.

    July 19, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide