Tom Jarvis Reflects on His 33 Years in Education

Tom Jarvis, Principal at Muncie Central High SchoolTom Jarvis, Principal at Muncie Central High School. Photo: Mike Rhodes

By: Tom Jarvis—

For the past 33 years, I have lived my dream as an educator.  During that time I have been a teacher, coach, principal, assistant principal, athletic director, husband, father and grandfather.  I have seen a lot of change in education from open concept, to teaming, zero period and block scheduling.  I have seen countless students, parents, grandparents, guardians, athletic events, concerts, plays, and graduations.  I have worked many nights, Saturdays, holidays, and weekends.  I do those things because I love what I do.

I will miss the many students, teachers, staff, colleagues and peers I have known throughout these 33 years in education.  I will not miss the 70-80 hours I have worked every week the past several years.  I have given it my all and tried to leave each assignment in a better place from when I started.

Why did I choose education as a career?  I guess I can answer that very easily.  When I was a teenager in high school, I had a lot of teachers who had an impact on my life.  My track and cross-country coach, as well as a social studies teacher and health teacher made me realize that relationships with students can make a difference in a person’s life.  I was an at-risk kid with a father who was an alcoholic and those teachers I previously mentioned cared about me when I needed it the most.

Along the way in my career, I was fortunate to have many people mentor me in becoming the best principal I could be.  People like Ermalene Faulkner, Chief Academic Officer for MCS, former principals Chuck Childers, John Arnold, Wendall Keesling, former superintendents Don Slauter, Sam Abrams and Tim Heller all taught me the skills in becoming a leader in education.  I could list countless more people who helped me during my career in education including my wife of 39 years, Joan, who has stood by me and encouraged me along each journey of my career.

I am quite proud of our accomplishments at Muncie Central High School.  Those accomplishments include raising our school from an ‘F’ to an ‘A’, gaining full accreditation and being cited for six best practices by AdvancEd, implementing the 8-Step process and having a successful merger of our two high schools.  None of this would have happened without the teachers, staff and students of Muncie Central High School.

As I start packing up and prepare to leave on June 30, 2016, I want to encourage the students at Muncie Central to reach for your dreams, work hard each and every day, and enjoy every minute of it.  Do not leave anything to regret and wish you had done things differently.  Make good choices, decisions and most of all, make yourself proud each and every day.
What will I do after I retire?  That is a good question and one that only God knows right now.  I know I still have a lot to give and am not ready to do nothing.  Hopefully the good lord will lead me in the right direction and figure out my next venture.  What ever it is I will give it my best, that’s the only way I know how to do.