New Forest Dale Elementary principal encouraged by early support
By Ann Marie Shambaugh
Sara Inskeep is entering her first school year as a principal, but she figures she has several advantages to get off to a good start.
The 35-year-old Indianapolis resident is replacing Deanna Pitman, who is the new principal at Carmel Middle School. Pitman and Inskeep have never been employed in the same building at the same time, but they have had a close working relationship through the years because they worked in similar schools that were near each other.
“I’ve been very lucky,” Inskeep said. “Not everyone has the benefit of moving into a principalship where the preceding principal is still in the district and is someone who was your friend and colleague before.”
Inkseep began her new role July 25, less than a month before the first day of school. She said she’s impressed by the support she’s received to get her up to speed.
“It was a surprise how quickly I heard from so many parents and staff members at Forest Dale,” she said. “With it still being summer I guess I kind of expected it would be a little while, but within the first two days I met nearly every staff member, whether it was just a quick meeting or over the phone or email.”
Inskeep joined Carmel Clay Schools in 2008 as a teacher at Orchard Park Elementary. Most recently she served six years as an assistant principal at Carmel Elementary.
“In the very beginning of my career I was really focused on teaching. As time went on I wanted to make bigger picture changes, more than just inside my classroom,” Inskeep said, adding that she had been considering the possibility of becoming a principal for a couple of years.
CCS gathered feedback from Forest Dale staff members and parents to create a leadership profile as officials searched for the new principal.
“They wanted a firm and fair leader who would advocate for both staff and students, as well as a leader who would be visible and approachable,” Supt. Nicholas Wahl stated in a press release. “I’m confident that Ms. Inskeep’s passion, leadership and personality will be a great fit as she steps into the new role of principal at Forest Dale.”
Inskeep described Forest Dale as a “well-oiled machine” and doesn’t anticipate making major changes as students head back to school.
Inskeep grew up in Delphi and has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Purdue University and a master’s degree in school administration from Indiana University. Her first teaching job was at Mollie B. Hoover Elementary in Crawfordsville Community Schools. She has served on curriculum adoption committees and focused on assisting struggling readers.