Meet Leigh Anne Shumate, Grace Lower School Principal
In this interview series, we learn more about the administrators at Grace School. We asked our principals to answer five questions about their journey to leadership, their time at Grace and the most meaningful aspects of their division.
1. What led you to teach in the classroom, and what prompted your decision to become a principal.
My journey to becoming a principal and a teacher is straightforward. I knew that I wanted to choose a career to help people and make a difference in the world. Teaching and education administration provides me with the opportunity to do both.
2. How long have you been a principal at Grace School?
3. What aspects of Lower School make you the proudest?
I’m most proud of our teaching faculty. I’m also incredibly proud of the STEM and leadership opportunities we’ve built into the school day for each grade level. Our students develop skills in Lower School that give them the confidence to succeed in Middle School and beyond. Our fifth-grade graduates are academically strong, well-rounded, confident, independent, and willing to serve others.
4. What does the teacher/learner relationship look like in Lower School?
The teacher/learner relationship is our top priority in Lower School. Class sizes allow for teachers to get to know each of their children. They understand what motivates them, what they’re interested in outside of school, and they know all about their families. They know their educational journey and goals. Each teacher tailors instruction based on how students in their classroom learn best. As a result, our students want to be at school and connect with their teachers.
5. What developments or new frontiers are you interested in introducing to parents/students?
We’ve worked hard to enhance parent communication with the addition of Bloomz. The app allows teachers to send messages and pictures throughout the school day. It provides an excellent avenue for parents to be a part of what happens at school. We’ve also added a journalism class for fourth grade and an after-school STEM club called Destination Imagination (DI). We are always looking for ways to empower students to be creative thinkers and innovators. DI allows our students to compete in STEM against other schools through focused challenges.
About Grace School
Grace School is a private Christian school in Houston, Texas, serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers