Wednesday was the first working day at Creston Community School District’s for the district’s new first through fifth elementary principal, Julie Plant. Plant accepted the position after it was left vacant by Scott Driskell, who now serves as activities director and assistant principal at Creston Community High School.
Plant, originally of Winterset, began her career as a special education teacher. As a child she spent a great deal of time with her grandfather, who was a superintendent and curriculum director in southeast Iowa. Plant said she had the opportunity to accompany him to work and it was her grandfather and colleagues who inspired her to pursue her career.
“I absolutely loved his interaction with teachers and the work he got to do,” said Plant.
As an elementary teacher, Plant said she continued to received mentorship from administrators, who took time to invest in her and develop her interest in administration.
Plant said she chose Creston because she felt that Creston schools’ philosophy of growth, progress and putting the kids first aligned with her own.
“I am looking forward to being part of an organization that is continuing to look at what is best for children in the continuously evolving world of public education and close-knit community relationships,” she said.
Plant was interested in joining a district that worked on a smaller scale, opposite of her experience in urban areas.“My current priorities are to get to know families and building relationships with staff,” Plant said. “I chose Creston because I think it is a good fit.
Plant earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood from John Brown University, in Siloam Springs, Arizona, and a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2012.
Plant started her career as a fourth-grade teacher from 1997 to 1998, followed by teaching pre-kindergarten in Wichita Kansas from 2001 to 2002. Plant then entered early childhood special education from 2006 to 2007, and then worked in K-5 special education in Carthage, Missouri, from 2007 to 2008. She continued teaching special education in Edmond, Oklahoma, in 2008, before pursuing her master’s degree in 2010.
Following Plant’s completion of her master’s program, she worked for the University of Oklahoma as a special education consultant for one year.
From 2013 to 2016, Plant worked as the assistant principal of Chisholm Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma, before working as an autism strategist for Des Moines Public Schools In 2018, Plant filled the role of dean of students and associate principal at South Union, where she remained before joining CCSD.
In her free time, Plant enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, while camping or boating and working on her family’s century farm in Winterset, Iowa. Her two youngest foster children are beginning 4-H activities and she feels Creston is a perfect fit.
“My philosophy on education and growth mindset fit with that of Creston schools,” she said.