After spending 8 years in the classroom as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, Jared Poynter decided to pursue a career opportunity as an administrator. Mr. Poynter’s objective is “to empower all students to become productive, responsible caring citizens and independent lifelong learners through a quality education within a safe and respectful environment.” In order to be effective in his position as principal at Hiawatha PreK-8th grade school, he sites leadership, hard work, communication, integrity and interpersonal characteristics as essential to success in any educational career. He also values the opportunity to witness students grow academically, socially, and personally. “Student growth at any rate helps encourage our purpose as educators. Seeing the joy, excitement and happiness in students’ eyes when they feel good about their accomplishments is so rewarding.”
Mr. Poynter chose to attend the Agricultural Education Program at the University of Illinois because “the experiences in and out of the classroom, differentiation of instruction, rigor of curriculum, and personal relationships are what set the University of Illinois amongst the most elite of Land Grant Universities. I could not imagine working on my undergraduate or graduate work of study at any other institution.” He credits the faculty at the University of Illinois for encouraging students to be well-rounded adults, and providing opportunities to network and be involved with extracurricular activities to prepare students for career success.