Muncie excited as Central Elementary’s new principal

Tuesday, July 2, 2024
Joanna Muncie is taking over from Todd Gowen at South Putnam as Central Elementary’s new principal.
Courtesy photo

For Joanna Muncie, it was a long time coming when the South Putnam School Board approved her becoming Central Elementary’s new principal recently.

Having served as the assistant principal for the past school year, she wants to make a greater impact on the administrative side. She is taking inspiration from those who have mentored her throughout her career.

Before coming to Central Elementary in 2023, Muncie made her mark as a kindergarten teacher at Ridpath for 20 years. She moved to Deer Meadow and served as its home-school liaison for five years.

A Cayuga native, Muncie graduated from North Vermillion. She earned her double major in early childhood education and elementary education, as well as her master’s degree in the latter discipline, from Indiana State. She received her principal’s license through Indiana Wesleyan.

Muncie is succeeding Todd Gowen, who has been Central Elementary’s principal since 2016. He has also served as South Putnam High School’s assistant principal, and previously held administrative roles at Cascade and Triton.

“For as long as I can remember, it’s always what I’ve wanted to do,” Muncie said about being a teacher and ultimately a school administrator.

Muncie put that to having great educators throughout her academic life. Wanting to have the same positive influence on students has guided her mission.

Referencing Paul Luken, Tammy Brewer-Bacon, Janice True, Mike McHugh and Emily Johnson as examples, Muncie said there have been many educators she has looked up to. She added that it was a blessing to work under Gowen.

“(It was) just to see his interaction and how he did things, so that I can continue the legacy that he started,” Muncie said to that.

That legacy for her means being nurturing to her students and their growth. For her, they come first all the time, no matter what.

“That’s why we’re in the field that we’re in,” she said. “Because we want to build good citizens, good people. Academics are important, but it’s the whole child. It’s also their social-emotional.”

Building on that objective is at the forefront, along with advancing academic success throughout the school and exceeding expectations.

That means implementing strategies and a curriculum with the “science of reading.” Muncie is also working on teachers being trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach, which is aimed at breaking down reading and spelling skills.

As the school year approaches, Muncie was confident in effectively serving students, teachers and families in her new role.

“I’m just thankful and blessed to be here,” she said. “My door’s always open.”

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  • Congratulations!!

    -- Posted by Moretothestory on Tue, Jul 2, 2024, at 3:58 PM
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