The North Bend Eagle


Tessie Beaver is the new principal at NBE.

Beaver wants to build on NBE strengths

by Nathan Arneal
Published 7/22/15

Tessie Beaver began her life in a small town, and now her career is taking her and her family back to another small town.

This fall she will replace Caryn Ziettlow as the principal at North Bend Elementary. Ziettlow has moved on to ESU2 in Fremont, where she is the head of professional staff development.

Beaver, 37, spent the first eight years of her life in St. Paul, Nebraska, before moving to Lincoln, where she’s been ever since.

She and her husband Josh have three children: Kellen, 12; Ellie, 10; and Grady, 5. This fall they will be entering grades six, five and kindergarten, respectively.
Josh will continue to work in Lincoln as an actuarial analyst, but it was the ages of the children that made the Beavers think this was the right time to make a move out of Lincoln.

“My kids were going to make some natural transitions,” Tessie Beaver said. “My oldest was going to move on to middle school and my youngest was going to move to elementary. So we kind of thought if we’re going to make a change, this is a good year to do it. We’re really wanting to be able to focus on family and on school. Moving into a smaller community really gives you the opportunity to do both.”

Beaver graduated from Lincoln Pius X High School before earning a degree in elementary and special education from Nebraska Wesleyan in 2000. She later added a master’s degree from Doane College in educational leadership and a specialist’s degree in Pre K-3 math.

She taught special education and then kindergarten for a total of 10 years in Lincoln before moving into an administrator’s role. She was the instructional coordinator at Lincoln’s Everett Elementary for two years before becoming an assistant principal there for the last three years.

“I love the principalship,” NBE’s new principal said. “I just absolutely love working with teachers and families and watching kids achieve. It’s just fabulous.”

When it came to finding a new job in a new school, the Beavers didn’t want to settle for just any school.

“When we were looking around, we were pretty specific,” Beaver said. “I didn’t apply to very many places. We really looked at communities, so as jobs came up we kind of searched through to see what kind of community it was, where is it located, is this a place we could see rasing our family, and North Bend was just the perfect fit.”

Living in a small town for the first time since she was 8 was also a draw.

“There are some pieces of a small town you just don’t get in a bigger city: the freedom to roam about and just enjoy life,” she said. “(Our kids) were pretty excited and they’ve really been on board with the whole move.”

Beaver said she liked the wide range of people she was able to meet during the interview process, which included the entire NBC school board, several members of the community and several teachers. She had just as many questions for them as they did for her. What she found out was that NBE was already on board with many of Beavers’ educational beliefs.

“I don’t think that there’s anything I’m really looking to change,” she said. “I think the skills I have really compliment what’s already being done at NBE. I think it’s going to be a natural transition. Mrs. Ziettlow has just done a fabulous job. You couldn’t ask for a better person to follow.”

Two particular NBE programs appalled to Beaver. One is the fact that NBE employs the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program through a grant from the Nebraska Department of Education. Everett Elementary, her previous school, was also a PBIS school. The program revolves around recognizing and rewarding positive behavior, whether it be walking through the halls quietly or sitting down when asked.

“By recognizing kids for doing the right thing, that kind of compels children to want to do that more,” Beaver said. “It just sets a very positive climate and tone and atmosphere in the school, and school is a great place to be, so we want to have that feel. (PBIS) was something that was important to me, so that was a huge selling piece.”

This coming year the NBE staff will be trained in Marzano instructional strategies, which focus on effective strategies to raise student achievemnt. Beaver is already trained in the Marzano strategies.

Beaver was also impressed when she did some research on the North Bend Central district.

“The test scores are incredible,” she said, “but you don’t get good test scores by accident. It comes with a lot of hard work, so I know there is really great instruction taking place already and kids are working hard and there’s good support from parents. That’s how you get good test scores. It really is a whole community effort.”

The Beavers made the move to North Bend the second weekend of July, and she is still unpack boxes at home and memorizing names at her new place of employment.

“I’m just really excited to be here and to be a part of North Bend Central and to be joining North Bend Elementary,” Beaver said. “I look forward to seeing where we go in the future. I think it will be a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to meeting everybody in the community.”

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