New principal takes over Zia

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of profiles on new principals in Clovis Municipal Schools.


Clovis Municipal Schools has new principals taking the helm at several schools throughout the district for the 2013-2014 school year.

Shalei Bennett is the incoming principal at Zia Elementary School and was previously an instructional coach at James Bickley and Lockwood Elementary Schools. She also taught for eight years within the district.

Bennett has a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern New Mexico University and a master’s in education administration from Wayland Baptist University.


Who has been your greatest influence?

My greatest influence was a collection of my teachers. I was born and raised in Clovis. I attended elementary at Zia, went to Yucca, and graduated from Clovis High School. One of my favorite elementary years was fifth grade. I had Mrs. McBride. I left her class everyday feeling special and smart. After that year, I knew I wanted to be an educator.


What has been your biggest success in the education field?

My biggest success in education has just been the ah-ha moments of seeing a child’s eyes light up. That moment when I look in their eyes and know that they just got the confidence that they can do anything they set out to do with effort and perseverance.


What was your favorite subject in school and why?

I enjoyed all aspects of school. I am an avid reader now and at the same time love to disaggregate data. So I guess reading and math are strong points, and I did enjoy both of those subjects in school.


What are your goals for Zia Elementary School in the upcoming school year?

For every child to move forward. I want every child to come to school every day feeling safe, getting the best possible education a child can get, and leaving school feeling smarter and more confident than the day before.


— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Emily Crowe