Assistant Principal

Assistant Principal’s Educational Journey:

 

I'm so happy to be home where my educational journey began thirty-five years ago as a kindergarten student in Mrs. Linda Priddy's classroom.  I remember sitting for circle time with her in what is now Mrs. Grochoske's classroom! This place hasn't changed much in the last 35 years! 

After graduating as the Salutatorian and President of the West High School Class of 1995, I went on to Baylor University to pursue a degree in education.  (I remember Mr. Truitt in my high school gifted/talented English IV class with Mrs. Sandra Farmer.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he is back in West, Texas.)  I graduated from Baylor in December 2001 and began my teaching career in August 2002 as a first grade teacher for Connally Independent School District. I started my journey as a West Independent School District employee in August 2005 as a second grade teacher.  I obtained my masters' degree in education administration while working full-time as a teacher and mother. I received my diploma in May 2011 from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.  I continued working for the district after graduation as an academic coordinator and special education teacher.

In August 2013, my educational journey took me to a district just down the road about twelve miles to Aquilla, Texas.  While working for the Aquilla Independent School District, I assumed the role of Director of Student Services for two years, the Counselor for one year, and Assistant Principal for one year.  The district administration team consisted of the superintendent, the principal, the counselor, and myself.  While there, I was able to see a school district through a whole different perspective than what I had previously experienced.  Instead of only being on one campus, I was a stakeholder for a campus that consisted of grades PK-12 all under one roof with a student population of 300.  It was an incredible experience to see the different levels of education and to not only further my understanding of early childhood and primary education but to also learn about the systems and curriculum of secondary education.  During my years there, I was able to obtain grants through TEA, the Smith Foundation, and the Region 12 (Technology Foundation Grant).  These grants were able to provide 1:1 laptops to all of our secondary students, iPads for our elementary students, an electronic school marquee for the district, and playground equipment for the elementary playground. 

I am enthusiastic to be home to share all of this knowledge and experience in education, with my colleagues, friends, community, and the students of West ISD.  Two West ISD students are very happy for their mother to be working for the district again.  These two students are my son, Conner, who is in the ninth grade at the high school, and Jaxson, who is in the fourth grade here at the elementary campus.  There are a few others that are excited about my transition: my husband, David, and our other two children, Kaylyn and Keaton.  They are all also WHS graduates (1990, 2008, 2012).  

 

If you ever have any questions or concerns that I can help you with, please stop by and see me anytime!  If you would prefer to email me, my email address is jpratka@westisd.net or you can call my office directly at 254-981-2204.

 

GO TROJANS! GO WEST ELEMENTARY!