Steve Seid arrives at Keota High School
KEOTA — Incoming Keota Junior High/High School principal Steve Seid said that he plans to have an open door policy for students — it’s just that the students may have a hard time catching him in his office.
With the hope of becoming an integral part of the school and the community, Seid does not expect to be in his office much of the time. He hopes to be out becoming part of students.
“I’ll be in the inner workings of the school, and making connections with the kids,” He said. “I’ll be talking to them about their assignments and the ball games and the music concerts. To me, that is how you build positive relationships and build a positive culture in the school.”
Seid believes a principal should be “imbedded” in a school. He said the old-school philosophy was that the principal of a school was only seen the first day and the last day of school. He does not want this to be the way his principalship works. He wants to be very visible in the school and the community. He said that he plans to be in classrooms to be part of the fabric of the school and let people know he is part of the school.
Seid said he is ready for the year to start. He has an apartment about a mile from school. His wife, Carol, remains at their residence in Des Moines, where she is working as the West Des Moines interim associate superintendent for human resources.
Seid graduated from Simpson College with a degree in elementary education, with a reading endorsement. He holds a master’s degree from Drake University in education administration. He also has a specialist degree, which allows him to work as a school district superintendent. His first teaching job was in 1984 and his first principal job was in 1997. He has most recently been interim superintendent in Osceola.
“It was good experience,” he said. “It gave me a whole new perspective to the education as a whole. It was a great experience.”
Saying he had been a principal for a long time before he was a superintendent, Seid had made the choice to seek a principal position after the job in Osceola ended. He said with superintendent Mark Schneider being shared between Keota and Mid-Prairie districts and not being in the district full time, he hopes to be able to help with some of the duties.
While doing research into the district, Seid found a staff in Keota that was very innovative in finding ways to offer the most opportunities for students while still watching expenses. He also learned of the great support for the district in the community. He felt Keota would be a “good fit” for him.
During the Keota School Board meeting in which Seid was hired as the new principal, Schneider described in detail the long process used to determine the next Keota principal. While it was a daylong affair involving multiple interviews, Seid said that was one of the things that had made his decision to accept the job at Keota. He said that he had been offered a position in another district that would have paid more. He said the structure of the interviews told him a lot about the leadership in the district.
“We were talking to a variety of groups and they got to know me and I got to know them,” he said. “It really was beneficial.”
A further three-hour discussion with Schneider in Williamsburg after the main interview and a job offer had put him over the top. He said he and his wife had called Schneider twice that evening before finally accepting the offer.
“It was the leadership, the process of the interview and the detail involved in it,” Seid said, when asked why he chose Keota. “I got a good sense of the passion of the staff and of what they want to do for the students. The students showed their involvement and excitement and the traditions that they are so proud of.”