It takes nerves of steel and a soft heart to take on leadership of a school full of children.
Jeffrey S. Beane knows a thing or two about both. Before making a career shift to education seven years ago, the new Miami View School principal spent 12 years in management positions with steel production companies in Dover, Ohio.
“The steel industry is a very cut-throat and harsh business,” he said. “It got to the point where you really had to be nasty-aggressive to survive. That’s not who I am.”
Beane found inspiration for a career in education from his mother, a high school teacher in New Philadelphia. One day, he picked her up from work and upon entering her school got a “feeling of home.”
“I thought, ‘This is where I belong,’ ” he said.
Beane entered the world of education in 2000 as a health and life skills teacher at Tuscarawas Middle School in the Indian Valley Local School District in northeastern Ohio. He later served the same district as a testing/Ohio Reads coordinator.
From 2004 until taking the job with Southeastern Local Schools, Beane was employed by the Reynoldsburg City School District. He spent one year as an elementary school dean of students and most recently served as an assistant principal at Waggoner Road Middle School.
Beane, who lives in South Solon, said he was attracted to the job at Miami View for many reasons, one being the chance to work where he lives.
“South Charleston is only 14 miles away. It was a great opportunity to do something positive for my rural community,” he said.
The Southeastern Local Board of Education approved Beane’s two-year contract as Miami View principal in July. He replaces Dr. Sara Suver, who served as the building’s principal for one year.
According to board President Rick Burton, Beane was among the candidates for the principalship last year.
“We thought highly of him then. He comes with good credentials, and he sounds really enthusiastic and excited about the job,” Burton said.
Beane was among more than 20 applicants for the position this time around. Outgoing Interim Superintendent Brian O’Mara and incoming Superintendent John Abdella made the selection. Beane’s first day on the job was Aug. 1.
As for his first order of business, Beane said, “I’m going to dig into test scores and see how individual students did and how individual teachers in the classroom did, and we’re going to celebrate success.”
The new principal said he looks forward to working with a wide age range of students. His last school, Waggoner Road Middle School, has two grades—fifth and sixth. Miami View has 10—pre-kindergarten through eighth.
“With smaller grade groupings, you set things in motion and don’t always get to see the fruit of your labor,” he said. “When pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade are all in one place, you get to experience progress.”
Beane praised the South Charleston community for its support of the school district. He said he hopes to bring stability to Miami View and looks forward to working with the new superintendent and the entire Southeastern staff.
“I bring a positive attitude and high goals. I love kids, and I love teaching. We’re going to do what’s right for kids,” he said.
Beane has two children, both students at Madison-Plains High School in Madison County.
The first day of school for Southeastern students is Aug. 22.