McMasters, once a high school social studies teacher and volleyball and basketball coach, has been in administration going on five years now. Before moving to Couch, she worked at Valleyview in Arkansas for two years, and South Pemiscott County, located in the boot heel, for the past 14 years.
McMasters started her master's degree seeking the raise in pay teachers receive with the degree. "The longer I was in the program, the more interested I became in the work of an administrator," McMasters said.
McMasters is happy with what she has seen of student success at Couch. "I've been looking at the MAP and EOC scores, and they are really good. I've been looking at what areas we can improve more on," McMasters replied when asked about goals she has as principal of Couch School. "I've been learning more about the programs the school uses, and if they work, we won't change them," said McMasters.
Challenges that come with being a principal for both high school and elementary are learning about the programs in elementary, because she has been in high school for most of her teaching career. She plans to work to make equal time to spend on both high school and elementary. A positive aspect of having the same principal for both schools McMasters said is, "I think it will be good because a lot of schools have a lot of problems with having the elementary and high school being disconnected. Having one principal will make it easier to keep them together, so I'm looking forward to that part." McMasters is willing and eager to accept the challenges that come along with the territory.
She looks forward to building relationships with the teachers. The hardest part about leaving South Pemiscott was leaving behind the relationships she built with her co-workers, but she is eager to build new ones at Couch.
McMasters is married and has two grown sons. "When I'm away from school I like to spend time at home with my family. I work as hard as I can when I'm at school but, when I leave, I like to leave it behind me and concentrate on my family." McMasters is excited to live closer to family in the Mammoth Spring/Salem area.
Couch School board President Joe Garrison said, "We feel very fortunate to have the quality and experience of the new administrators. They are very qualified individuals, and we feel that this year will be a good year."
Teachers officially start back to work on Monday, August 13, and students will begin the 2012-2013 school year on Wednesday, August 15.