Hector is new NEH principal

Administrator most recently served as associate WC middle school principal

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Teresa Wood Jessica Hector was named the Northeast Hamilton Learning Center principal Monday night by the Webster City School Board. Hector is a seven year veteran in the classroom and has served as the Webster City Middle School Associate Principal for the past three years.

BLAIRSBURG — Jessica Hector has been named principal at Northeast Hamilton Elementary School in Blairsburg.

The Webster City School Board officially named Hector to the position at Monday’s school board meeting. Hector replaces NEH Supt/Principal Mike Kruger who resigned in June to take the position of West Fork CSD superintendent.

Hector grew up north of Hull, Iowa and attended Boyden-Hull Community Schools, graduating from high school in 2003.

After graduation, Hector attended Northwestern College in Orange City, majoring in Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading, Middle School and Coaching.  She also played softball for the Red Raiders for two years.

Hector was drawn to teaching when her high school government teacher encouraged her to consider a career in education.

“I always had a passion for learning and for kids,” said Hector.  “I spent many summers coaching summer recreational softball for T-ball through eighth grade.  I always enjoyed working with kids and watching them reach their potential, so it seemed a good fit for me.”

After graduation, she began her career as a paraeducator at Rock Valley Community Schools where she worked with middle school and high school students as well as in the Special Education program.

The family moved to central Iowa two years later and Hector became the seventh and eighth grade Literature teacher and the K-3 Title I Math instructor at Southwest Webster Grand Schools in Dayton and Burnside.

While at Southwest Webster Grand, Hector also taught fourth through sixth grade Title Reading and fifth/sixth grade Reading and Social Studies.

When Southeast Webster Grand and Prairie Valley began whole grade sharing in 2014, Hector moved to the Southeast Valley Middle School in Burnside where she completed her teaching career as the fifth grade Social Studies teacher.

In total, Hector had taught seven years at Southwest Webster Grand/Southeast Valley Schools when she decided to become an administrator.

“During my time as a teacher at Southeast Webster Grand/Southeast Valley, I was involved on many committees in different teacher leadership roles” explained Hector.  “It was during this time that I gained confidence in being an educational leader and really wanted to increase my capacity to make a difference for all students, not just the ones that I could impact in my classroom. It was then I decided to pursue my masters in administration.”

In 2015, Hector graduated with her Masters in Education from the University of Northern Iowa.   Her first administrative assignment was as Webster City Middle School Associate Principal, a position that she has held for the past three years.

Hector has a comprehensive philosophy as an educator and administrator.

“I believe that education is all about relationships,” she explains.  “Content knowledge is undoubtedly important, but I have always believed it is incredibly important for educators to model high character and build positive relationships.” 

Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, is one of her favorite quotes and she believes that reflects her approach to education.

“I believe educators have to focus on educating the whole child, helping them to become well-rounded contributors to the community,” she explained. “In order to help students reach that potential, we have to be able to identify their strengths and target those areas that are lagging to give them what they need.”

Hector believes that administrators must wear many hats – they should be visible and support the many activities in both the school and the community while also establishing a positive culture with focused goals.

This year will be a new beginning in many ways.  It is the first year for Hector as a head principal and it’s the first year for Northeast Hamilton as a part of the Webster City School District.

“Change is hard and anytime there is a change, there is a level of uncertainty for people,” concedes Hector.  But since NEH has been involved with Webster City through whole grade sharing and with an incredible support staff, she is confident this transition year will be a smooth one.

“I have a great team to lean on,” said Hector.  “There is also a great deal of support from dedicated, established staff and an active community of families at Northeast Hamilton Elementary and I feel very blessed to be a part of it.”

Initially, Hector expects to be watching, listening and learning a lot during the beginning of her tenure at NEH.

“I want to be able to get to know the students, teachers, and families of NEH Elementary, and get a good grasp of all of the great things going on in the building already,” she said.

She applauds the spirit at NEH and looks forward to becoming a part of its future growth.

“Northeast Hamilton Elementary has been working very hard to build a sense of community and pride within the building and establish a positive learning culture,” said Hector. “I hope to continue to build on the strengths and positives within the building and community that make them unique, while also bringing some fresh ideas to the table.”

“Above all, I hope to help make this year of transition as smooth as possible as we provide the highest level education for all of our students,” she said.

Hector and her husband Dustin have lived in Webster City for two years and they have two children, Alivia, 12 and Easton, 7.