At Home Again

JHS Welcomes Back Principal Neal

From teacher to administrator to Principal, Celeste Neal has done it all. But now she’s ready to take on her first year back on campus and change things for the better.

“The most influential role in education is the role of a teacher,” Neal said. “They are with the kids every single day, forming relationships, the administration gets to know the students but not like the teachers do.”

Neal speaks from experience, beginning her career as an English teacher and Volleyball coach at Maypearl ISD in the nineties, she has spent 17 years in this school district after moving here in 2002. She has worked in five different positions including Director of Secondary Curriculum, Director of Post-Secondary Readiness, Assistant Principal, and Principal at both Loflin and the high school campus.

“My husband inspired me to become a teacher,” Neal said. “He was a teacher and a coach and I liked what he did. My kids were young at the time, so the idea of having a summer off was really appealing. I was unsure if I was going to stay with it forever, but I have because I love it.”

Starting out as teachers, Neal and her husband now both work as high school principals.

“My husband is the principal of Centennial in Burleson and I am the principal here, so we get very competitive,” Neal said. “We compare everything. We also get the chance to have a lot of conversations where we can get insight on how the other one would handle a situation. As fun as it is to be competitive about our jobs, it’s also super helpful that we can share advice.”

Despite the helpful support system at home, the transition from the quiet administration office to our bustling campus comes with its own set of difficulties.

“One of the challenges of being back on campus, for me, is coming back to a routine and trying to meet with people who need to speak with me and making time for everyone, however I love it,” Neal said.

Neal plans to improve STAAR test results and maintain the Academic UIL District Champion title, however she shares that ensuring post-secondary readiness is an extremely crucial goal of hers as well.

“This is a great campus, but I want every student who walks out this door to be college, career, or military ready,” Neal said.

After all these years of teaching and administration, Neal proves she’s passionate about what she does.

“For me, this isn’t just a job, this is a passion,” Neal said. “It’s about getting able to know kids and watch them grow, perform, and learn everyday.”