Jeff Scott is the principal of the newest school building in the Unit 4 school district, and the first one to be outside of the city of Champaign (Savoy). The Carrie Busey principal was voted the most popular school principal in our 2012 Readers’ Choice Local Personalities section. Although “he’s not sure how” he got such an honor, we’re pretty confident that they made a good choice. Jeff has been teaching in Champaign since 1995. He started at Champaign Central High School, where he was head wrestling coach for 13 years. Jeff became an administrator when he was hired as assistant principal at South Side; he has been at Carrie Busey for three years. Jeff and his wife Pam have two children, 14-year-old Evan and 8-year-old Ella.
See why we think Jeff Scott is a Chambana Dad to Know.
Q: You have been through the transition of Carrie Busey from an “underchosen” school to planning for the new building to now moving in.
What has that experience been like for you?
A: The experience of going from an underchosen school on a very busy Kirby Avenue, to a wonderful state-of-the-art school in Savoy has been amazing. The planning of the school was done by our staff and we are very fortunate to have such an amazing school to work in every day. Moving an entire school is quite a large task, especially when we only had two weeks to unpack, but we are so grateful for our new school despite the painful summer.
Q: How would you describe the feeling of being in a new building and what does it mean for the education of your students?
A: The new school is spacious, beautiful, and very functional. The excitement that surrounds the opening of a brand new school is contagious. The kids, the teachers, the staff and the neighborhood have been so positive about the new school. While our school is an outstanding facility, we know that we still have to do our jobs at a very high level each and every day. Throughout the entire process, we consistently talked about the need to do our jobs well and to continue to improve as a school each and every day.
Q: How do you sell your school to families who are going through the Unit 4 kindergarten lottery process right now?
A: I am the luckiest principal in the district because I work as part of a very hard working, dedicated, and talented staff. Carrie Busey does a great job of providing students with a great opportunity to excel academically and socially. Our school is also very well known as the “healthy school”. Carrie Busey emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and physical activity on a daily basis. We integrate our health and wellness focus into our daily curriculum to give our students a very well-rounded education. The involvement from our PTA and parent volunteers is outstanding and further contributes to a fabulous experience for our student’s and their families.
Q: How does being a dad impact your work as a principal?
Being a dad is one of the most important parts of my life and helps me keep perspective on all the things that I do at Carrie Busey. I always want to act in such a way that, as a parent, I would be satisfied. All of the decisions that we make at Carrie Busey are driven by what what we think is best for children.
Q: What is the favorite part of your day, and why?
My favorite part of the day is the morning when our student’s arrive. It is a wonderful way to start each and every day. Student’s are usually excited to be at school and share a “Good Morning” with me. I always think that each day is an opportunity for the kids to experience something wonderful and new. In the fall and spring, it is really neat to see the number of kids that walk to school from our neighborhood.
Q: What is your biggest parenting challenge right now?
A: My biggest parenting challenge right now is finding adequate time to spend with my own children. My children are 14 and 8 and this is a very critical time for dad to be around. My wife is a wonderful support and the only way that I can be a successful principal. She picks up a lot of the slack at home while I am at work. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, and together, we try our best to give the kids the support and love that they need to be successful.