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Four Administrators Named at Newport Schools

New Superintendent Tony Watts named four top administrators at Newport Independent Schools:

  • Director of Curriculum Laurie Veatch.
  • Curriculum Specialist Jennifer Steidel-Jones.
  • Director of Finance Jennifer Hoover.
  • Director of Pupil Personnel Jennifer Stewart.

"I am excited and pleased about the new hires to the district team," Watts said. "We had a lot of applicants, and I think we made some great hires. They bring a variety of expertise and experience to the team. We will start planning once they start in July. I expect them to bring some fresh ideas and be ready to implement positive change. I am excited about the future of our district." 

Director of Curriculum Laurie Veatch

Veatch, Newport Schools' former district mathematics coordinator, has worked for 27 years in education. In addition to her position in Newport, she spent seven years as an education recovery specialist with the Kentucky Department of Education and has served as assistant principal of Collins Elementary in Florence, assistant principal in the Bellevue Independent Schools, curriculum coach in the Kenton County Schools, and a staff developer and teacher in the Campbell County Schools.

Veatch said her major responsibility will be supporting her team and using her skill set and past experiences to increase student achievement and open new opportunities to the students and staff by providing a quality education.

"It sounds cliché, but this is my dream job," Veatch said. "I have a passion for curriculum and assessment. In my past positions, I was drawn to curriculum and assessment work, especially in the role of support. I do not feel the need to be in the limelight; my best work is done behind the scenes in the support of others."

Curriculum Specialist Jennifer Steidel-Jones

Steidel-Jones has 27 years of experience in education and most recently served as a continuous improvement coach with the Kentucky Department of Education. She also served in the Newport schools as a reading interventionist, literacy coach and English Language Arts department chairperson at Newport High School and was a literacy coach and interventionist at John G. Carlisle Elementary School in Covington.

Steidel-Jones was also elected to the Silver Grove Schools Board of Education.

"I am excited to be back in Newport," Steidel-Jones said. "As a current Continuous Improvement Coach for the KY Department of Education, I understand the importance of providing instructional support to teachers as well as school and district leaders that align to their district’s goals. Over the past five years, I have supported schools and districts with the implementation of sustainable systems, as they strive to close achievement gaps, and impact student growth and achievement.

"I want to use my skill set, work ethic, and many years of experience to support and build capacity in a culture of learning among educators in the community of the children I hold high expectations for and love," she said. "The kids of Newport need our hard work and dedication to ensure a successful future for them."

Director of Finance Jennifer Hoover

Hoover has a diverse background in the classroom, in the business world and in education-related finance.  She served as the chair of the career and technical education department at Pendleton County High School and taught business in the Pendleton County, Campbell County and Kenton County school districts. She also worked for Shelton & Associates, LLC, an accounting firm located in Bowling Green. Ky., where she worked closely with local public-school districts.

Hoover said she has a passion for accounting and finance but became a teacher because she wanted to make a difference in the lives of students.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my past 11 years in the classroom teaching business but felt like I was being called to use my skills to impact students in a different way," Hoover said. "This position combines my passion for accounting/finance as well as still being in a school district where I can relate to students. 

"I look forward to bringing my experiences in accounting/finance, classroom teaching, and career and technical education to the district and help continue to give students opportunities to move forward and accomplish their goals," she said.

Director of Pupil Personnel Jennifer Stewart

Stewart has 18 years of experience and most recently held the position of an instructional coach at Newport Intermediate School. She previously served as a director of pupil personnel, preschool, title programs and special education with Silver Grove Independent School and as special education teacher and director of exceptional children for early childhood services with Bracken County Schools

"Newport Independent has a rich history in its advocacy of educational endeavors.  I was impressed with the willingness of this community school in offering a world class education," Stewart said. "My major responsibilities will be to ensure that students have the supports they need to be in attendance and engaged at school. 

"At Newport Independent, we will be focusing on reducing barriers for our children by working with the family resource and youth service centers, families, and community partners to support the individual students," she said. "We know that when we improve student attendance, student academic success improves. We are preparing students for the future so it is important that we hold the core belief that all students can and will succeed at high levels. We have to give them the opportunity. "

-Staff report