NEWS HEADLINES

Sewell to lead Chico Middle School

By David Talley | Published Wednesday, August 9, 2017
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Social studies teachers at Chico Middle School may soon find a new face in their classrooms.

Monte Sewell

In addition to the fresh influx of students, newly-named Principal Monte Sewell is hoping to get some face time with students and teachers in order to stay grounded as the campus’ top administrator.

Sewell is in his 22nd year as an educator. He spent 17 years as a teacher and coach.

“I’ve gone into social studies classrooms in the junior high and said, ‘hey, if you need to go do something today, you go do it. I’ll teach your class.’ Because it keeps your administrators in touch with the students and what the teacher is going through,” he said. “I think that makes a good administrator if you’re in touch with reality and you’re doing exactly what the teachers do.”

And what the teachers are doing now is working well, he said. The campus’ standardized testing scores have been among the higher in the state, and Sewell said his job is to help continue that success.

“We test so well, it’s a matter of coming in and helping teachers get anything they need,” he said. “They’re already doing a good job, so all I’m sort of doing is just being in a support role. That’s all I am, coming into a situation where we have quality staff and quality students and just trying to build on that and make a good situation even better.”

While Sewell has held other administrative positions (most recently assistant principal and coach in Bowie ISD), this is his first time serving as a campus principal.

He’s also currently the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Region 6 Division 3 director. He’ll help coach powerlifting at the high school with Coach Tim Mynarcik, who is the men’s director. Having served in multiple other roles, Sewell said he’s excited for the opportunity to lead a campus.

“I’d say it’s not as big of a challenge as it is a change,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to it, but at the same time, I’m putting pressure on myself. I’m an intrinsically motivated individual.”

He’s also looking forward to returning to a smaller district. Sewell said Chico is the smallest district he’s worked at since 1999.

“Everybody knows everybody,” he said. “You know every student. You know every teacher. You’re going to know about 99 percent of the parents. That’s fortunate. That’s a great thing to me about small schools and rural communities.”

And one of the best ways to get to know those students is to spend time in front of their classrooms, teaching the favorite parts of his favorite subjects.

“Do a regular, everyday class at least once a year and you’ll see,” he said. “I think it’s good for administrators, but find out when they’re going to cover your favorite part because that’s where you’re going to be well-versed.”

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