LITTLE ROCK—Karie Aeikens has taken on a new role in the George-Little Rock School District.
The 40-year-old is the new principal of George-Little Rock Middle School in Little Rock. She took over the job on July 22, replacing Molly Schilling in the position.
“It’s been different from teaching in that there is very little schedule,” Aeikens said. “I can plan my day, but there is no guarantee it’ll turn out that way. In one afternoon, I can go from completing state reports to plunging a toilet. I love it.”
The Little Rock woman previously taught fifth grade for 12 years and then fourth grade for one year at the middle school, which serves students in fourth-eighth grade.
“What I really enjoy is being around our kids here at G-LR; they’re really great kiddos,” Aeikens said. “I also enjoy being able to continue working with the amazing staff here in Little Rock.”
Despite being a first-time principal, she was not too nervous about taking over the full-time position.
“I’ve been on several leadership committees in our district, so that has helped me be able to look at our district’s strengths and weaknesses from another viewpoint,” Aeikens said.
In addition to being a middle school principal, she owns Ben’s Plumbing & Repair Inc. of Little Rock with her husband, Ben. They have four children.
“I decided to take classes just because I was interested to learn more about the administration side of things,” Aeikens said. “At that time, we still had all four of our kids at home, so I wasn’t really interested in leaving my teaching career.
“Now that our kids are a little older, the timing is right for me personally.”
She described her duties as a middle school principal as basically playing some sort of role in every area that affects the 132 students in fourth-eighth grade whom she oversees.
“This includes setting district goals, curriculum planning, assessing teaching strategies, monitoring student achievement, collaborating with families and other stakeholders, evaluating staff, overseeing facilities and ensuring the safety and well-being of our students,” Aeikens said. “I’ve also gotten pretty good at making peanut butter sandwiches and running in heels.”
The Pocahontas native explained what she was looking forward to during her first academic year as a middle school principal.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with our outstanding students and staff as well as the George-Little Rock community members,” Aeikens said. “We’ve got a lot of things going for us here at G-LR; it’s a great district to be a part of.”