A Winning Principal

Ever been summoned to the principal's office? Whatever your memories of your school's top leader may be, West Field Elementary Principal, Dr. Joe Pierce, will be remembered this year for winning the title of Oklahoma Elementary School Principal of the Year.

"It's an honor and a chance for me to brag on my terrific staff and the great kids that we have here at Westfield," said Pierce.

Pierce was nominated by an anonymous colleague through the Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals. He was recognized along with each district winner at the OAESP mid-winter conference in January.

District winners were narrowed to three top contenders, all meeting various criteria and reviewed by a panel of former award winners. A site visit was conducted where panelists toured schools, interviewed nominees, teachers and parents. In April, Pierce was selected as the winner.

Education has always been a natural and important aspect of Pierce's life, as he comes from a family of educators. His mother worked for the Board of Education in his hometown of New Castle, Indiana.

His value for education compelled Pierce to enter the teaching field in 1983 where he taught in the Putnam City School District and eventually moved on to Edmond schools where he taught at Sequoyah Middle School in 1989. Two years later, Pierce was hired as the assistant principal of Washington Irving Elementary and in 1993 he became Central Middle School's assistant principal. Pierce moved up to principal in 1998 when he was hired at Orvis Risner Elementary.

Pierce's second tenure as principal came in January 2006 when he was named principal of West Field Elementary, the newest state-of-the art elementary school in Edmond. Pierce commented that it was rare that he was personally able to hire each staff member.

"It's a once in