Q and A with Adam Beckel
Next year Adam Beckel will be taking over Eric Nelson’s position as principal for Pella High School. He and his family are hoping to move here by the end of June. He will take over as principal June 1st of 2019.
Q. What made you want to be the principal here at Pella?
A. What educational leader wouldn’t want to be the principal in Pella? I have always loved the strong community and have been very impressed with the students that I have met over the years. There is such a rich tradition and an overwhelming sense of pride. I also have to say that every staff member, student, and community member I met during the interview process made me feel welcome and solidified that Pella was the place for me!
Q. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
A. I have a wonderful family that I love with all my heart: my wife’s name is Angie, and two sons Jack (8) and Hank (3). I am a sports nut, especially Hawkeye sports. If I seem like I am having a rough day, just play the Iowa fight song, and I usually perk right up! I did my undergraduate studies at The University of Iowa and graduate work at Drake University. I also love movies and music (especially 80’s rock)! When I find free time, I love to travel with my family.
Q. What experience do you have that will prepare you for being the principal here at Pella High?
A. I think that my experiences all the way back to being a student will be helpful as I take on the principal role. I have had the opportunity to learn from many great teachers, coaches, and leaders that have taught me many valuable lessons on how to treat people. As a leader, I tend to lean on my experiences as a coach. Through coaching, I learned to break skills down, provide feedback, and celebrate victories (even the small ones). I think that my experiences in sports are the root of where my constant encouragement to help others improve comes from. This will be my first principal job, but I have some great experience leading one of the largest schools in the state of Iowa. I have spent the last 6 years of my career as the Vice Principal of Des Moines Lincoln High School. Every day in my current role has brought new learning, and I am very sure that everyday to come will bring something new. Before I was the Vice Principal, I served as a School Improvement Leader where my focus was on improving curriculum and instructional practices. Through all of my experiences, I can easily say that the most important lesson I have learned is that life is not about WHAT you know, or even WHO you know, but most importantly – HOW YOU TREAT PEOPLE.
Q. What are your greatest professional strengths?
A. I have had many great experiences in Des Moines that will allow me to bring unique perspectives to the Pella team: however, I feel that my greatest strength lies in my ability to connect with students. My favorite part of the job is when I can see that I have made a positive impact on a person’s life.
Q. What are you looking forward to the most?
A. I am excited about getting to know everyone, especially the staff and students. I am also hopeful that my knowledge, skills, and personality can contribute to a great team of leaders……And you better believe that I will be visiting the bakeries in town often!
Q. What do you think your biggest challenge will be?
A. I am leaving a place where I was the “go to” person with a wealth of knowledge of the school and the people in the community. I have a lot to explore in Pella and many names to learn.