Veteran educator and Marion County native Amanda Farmer has been selected to lead Marion County Middle School as its next principal. Most recently, Farmer served as the Supervisor of Instruction in the LaRue County school district. Before that, she worked in Marion County Public Schools as a classroom mathematics teacher and instructional coach, with most of her teaching experience taking place at St. Charles Middle School, now Marion County Middle School.
“This school is a special place to me. I went there as a student myself, my children have gone there, and I spent the majority of my teaching years there,” Farmer said. “As an educator, a lot of my time has been spent there and that is a place that is very, very important to me and special to me [...] When I left Marion County I was very hopeful that I would have an opportunity to come back. That’s my home.”
For Farmer, creating an atmosphere where students and staff want to be a part of the school culture will be a top priority.
“I want the staff and students to want to be there,” she said. “I want the teachers to be satisfied with their work and feel supported. I want the students to feel like that’s a place they love and want to come to and know that people there love them. And I want the parents to feel comfortable sending their kids there.”
One advantage she’ll have is a familiarity with the staff having worked with them as a classroom teacher and instructional coach.
“I know they’re good solid teachers that really have a desire to see that building improve,” she said.
During her time as Supervisor of Instruction in LaRue County, Farmer said she was able to gain perspective by seeing how a variety of principals operated and better understanding “what works and what doesn’t work.” That time working at the district-level also provided insight into how and why district procedures are needed, which she said will help her as a building-level administrator.
“I feel like I’ve gained the skills that I needed and that I can successfully lead Marion County Middle School,” Farmer said.
While her main goal will be academic growth, Farmer said she also wants to put an emphasis on setting high expectations for students, including their behavior, and to make sure those expectations are clear to both students and parents. Just as importantly, though, she wants to make sure students are rewarded for meeting those expectations.
Farmer said she was also looking forward to having more opportunities to work closely with students.
“I’m excited to work with kids daily again because that’s been something I’ve missed,” she said. “I feel like I’m a very hands-on person, so I want to be where the kids are and I want them to feel supported by me.”