Ashley Blain Appointed as New Principal at CES

By Payton Tholstrup

Picture by Kayla Tate Photography

Ashley Blain has been teaching English at Concordia Junior-Senior High School for twelve years. Before 2021, she had never imagined herself pursuing a career in school administration. Fast forward to today and she is preparing to be the new principal at Concordia Elementary School for the 2024-2025 school year.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers seemed to be carrying even more weight on their shoulders. Teachers are still leaving the field at alarming rates, and Blain knew she wanted to help somehow. While her heart was being pulled in the direction of school administration, she tried to fight that desire at first. “I love students and I love teaching. I had it in my head that if I moved into administration I would be removed from students,” she said.

However, the thought of becoming an administrator didn’t go away. “A former mentor shared years ago that we should ‘go where we will make the most difference.’ I believe I can make the most difference in education by championing educators to teach their hearts out and stay in the field,” Blain said.

 She went back to school at KU and completed her certificate in school administration this past December. The further she progressed through the program, the more passion she developed for students through data, policy, advocacy, climate, advocacy, and culture.

Teaching has given her valuable learning experience that she will use as a principal. “Teaching has presented me with a variety of challenges over the years through scheduling, discipline, and curriculum.”

She also said many of her former students now have early elementary-aged children so she will be working with her former students again from a new angle. Being able to stay in Concordia is also a bonus for her; she loves the community and has enjoyed raising her children there. “My heart for elementary education started beating when my children began school at CES.”

While Blain has enjoyed her time working with teenagers, she looks forward to the spunk and enthusiasm that elementary students exude. “If we can make elementary school a positive, rewarding, and safe experience from the get-go, we will set students up for success for the rest of their education.”

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