As with many who enter the field of education, Justin Thomas wants to make a difference.
With a decade of classroom teaching experience to his credit, Thomas is expanding his role as an educator by accepting the position of principal at La Monte High School.
“I became an educator to help students work at achieving the things they desire,” Thomas began. “I want to empower students to take initiative and develop as thinkers. We live in a world that demands so much from our young people and requires them to be analytical and my goal is to always help develop students into problem solvers.
“I became an administrator to help teachers develop their skills in the classroom and have a greater impact on student success,” he continued. “We have so many talented teachers and if I can support their development as educators the impact on our students is limitless.”
Thomas grew up in northern Pettis County and graduated from Pettis County R-V (Northwest High School). A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, he received undergraduate degrees in both biology and psychology, as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
Following his graduation from MU, he returned to teach at Northwest. Prior to accepting the position at La Monte, he taught science at Warsaw High School.
“I am passionate about education and its purpose,” Thomas commented. “I believe every student can achieve at a high level and I think schools work best when they get students involved in as many ways as possible.”
As an administrator Thomas explained he has a number of goals he wishes to achieve. One of his top priorities is to strengthen the ties between the district and the La Monte community.
“We do many great things in our district and I want our community to know those things so they can see all the successes that our students are having,” Thomas explained. “Another one of my goals is to prepare our students to be college and career ready. When our young people leave us we want them to have every opportunity to be successful and if we can present them with a wide range of options and develop their interests our students can leave us knowing they are prepared for the rest of their lives.”
Thomas believes parents play a vital role in a child's education.
According to Thomas, “parents being involved in a child's education early and often provides a tremendous benefit.
“Reading to children at home, even at a very young age, has been shown to have a major impact on a child's educational success,” he added. “School districts and parents should always work together to do what is best for their students. When parents and educators can sit down and discuss the importance of education as well as things that can be done at home to impact a student’s learning we all win.”