Mac El Principal highlighted
McPike receives three major recognitions
By Eric Stoff, email@example.com
Kelly McPike has a busy season ahead of her as a result of three major recognitions.
The Maconaquah Elementary School Principal has been nominated as Principal of the Year for District 5 in Indiana, she has accepted a representative position with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and she is presenting in Anaheim, Calif. this week at a national conference with her Assistant Principal Jeremy Fewell.
McPike said she is “humbled beyond measure” by the recognitions, and she credits her school staff for her success.
“I’m not successful without the people that are part of this staff,” she said. “This is recognition for our school and not just for me.”
As Indiana Association of School Principals’ (IASP) District 5 Principal of the Year, McPike joins her Maconaquah colleagues Craig Jernagan and Dr. James Callane, who have previously been recognized for the award. She is also one of 12 principals in Indiana who could be named the statewide Principal of the Year in a few weeks.
“She is very forward-thinking,” said Fewell as to why he nominated her for IASP Principal of the Year. “She does what’s best for the kids, and puts her staff in a position to help kids.”
Maconaquah Superintendent Dr. Doug Arnold said McPike is “one of our top administrators in the Maconaquah School Corporation.”
He described her as “knowledgeable, hard-working, adaptable, innovative, and very personable.”
“With her experience as an educator and her strong communication skills, she is a natural to serve in each of the three positions,” Arnold said. “Maconaquah Elementary School is very fortunate to be under Mrs. Kelly McPike's leadership.”
McPike has also been selected as Indiana’s representative for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), which she described as being “the liaison between the IASP and the NAESP.”
She previously served as the elementary school representative on the IASP Board of Directors, but she will now work with legislators at the federal level. She said the focus is “not just on how legislation affects principals, but how it affects kids.”
McPike said she feels she can “serve Indiana well” in this new role due to her experience in the classroom, in grants management, as an elementary administrator, and a board member of the IASP.
“I look at it as a great opportunity to network with other elementary administrators from across the country,” she said. “I will continue to bring back their ideas and the things that they’re doing to Maconaquah Elementary, but also to Indiana at large.”
Finally, McPike and Fewell are presenting in Anaheim Calif. this week at the national No Excuses University (NEU) Convention and Leadership Summit. Mac El has been an official NEU school for two years, and McPike and Fewell are sharing information on two outreach initiatives at the school: Mac El on the Road and Kids Hope USA.
Mac El on the Road is an outreach initiative that school staff completes at the beginning of each school year. Staff members take water bottles and hotdogs to students’ neighborhoods and connect with them for about an hour. McPike and Fewell said the “simple” and “low stress” environment makes it easy to connect with their students and families. Kids Hope USA is a new mentorship program the school started this year in partnership with McGrawsville United Methodist Church.
Throughout her career in education, McPike has run her thoughts through a “lens” that asks, “‘Are we doing what’s best for the kids?’ (Because) it’s not about me. It’s all about the kids.”
She extended credit to her husband and two children, who support her and refer to her students as “her kids.”
“They understand the day-to-day joy and stress of having a wife and mom who happens to be an elementary principal,” she said. “And they are always there to cheer me on or just listen when needed.”