Dr. Valerie Ivy

Dr. Ivy advances to serve as principal of her alma mater ‚Äč
Posted on 08/22/2022
Dr. Valerie Ivy

Poplar Bluff native Dr. Valerie Ivy has been selected as the first female principal in the history of Senior High to lead the school building, according to district records.

“We really are excited to see what Dr. Ivy brings to that role of head principal of Poplar Bluff High School,” stated Dr. Scott Dill, R-I superintendent. “As a true mule, she knows our community and our school from every aspect, and has a strong legacy as an instructional leader within the district. We know she will accomplish amazing things during her tenure.”

Coined by the late Wesley Lewis, beloved PBHS staff member, a “true mule” is an alum who was born and raised in Poplar Bluff, and went on to dedicate their lives to helping make the community a better place.

A graduate of the PBHS Class of 1995, Ivy married her high school sweetheart, Jamie, who recently accepted a job as security at Junior High after retiring from the manufacturing sector. They have two children, Josh and Emmaleigh, who are also alumni.

Last week Ivy completed her doctorate in education leadership from William Woods University in Fulton, where she previously earned her specialist degree in district administration, as well as her master’s in teaching and technology. She also serves as a council member of First United Methodist Church, and board president of the Independent Living Center of Southeast Missouri.

“I am so incredibly proud of Dr. Ivy. I know she will do a terrific job,” said Patty Robertson, assistant superintendent of curriculum. “…She truly cares about the district and community as a whole and will do whatever it takes.”

Ivy’s career began in 2004 teaching at the former 5th & 6th Grade Center under then principal Robertson, before which she student taught and served as a long-term substitute. Ivy was certified as an eMINTS trainer for the district as well as in an official capacity for the nonprofit – enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies – and received the first complete set of classroom computers within the school system, she recalled.

The leadership role laid the groundwork for her position as instructional technology facilitator in 2013, when the district began the process of going 1:1, making a laptop available for every student. During the next several years, Ivy and her team founded the annual PB Connect internal professional development seminar, the iThink Summer Academy for enrichment, and the Middle School ChromeCamp designed to share digital resources.

Since 2017, Ivy has served as assistant principal at PBHS under Mike Owen, who was promoted to R-I assistant superintendent of personnel. Apropos of her technology-rich background, Ivy’s theme is ‘Reboot 22,’ she explained, detailing the ‘three R’s’ she has identified as her building-wide goals as head principal: “We are going to reflect on what we’ve been through in order to heal and move forward from the pandemic; we are going to refresh our current practices to meet the needs of students; and we are going to refine what we do well so we can continue to grow,” she summarized.

“As a lifetime citizen of Poplar Bluff, my heart is dedicated to the success of our community and our students,” Ivy continued. “All the experiences that I’ve had, starting as a teacher, have prepared me for this leadership role.”

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Cutline: Alumna Dr. Valerie Ivy has advanced through the ranks in the school system, and was selected as the next principal of Poplar Bluff High School.

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