Get To Know Justin Jeffs
As we celebrate National Principals Month, let’s get to know Justin Jeffs, the Principal at Mitchell Elementary. Jeffs became a principal because he loves working with people in general. He has been with the Ames CSD for 12 years.
“I get to work with both kids and adults in this position, which is exactly what I love to do,” said Jeffs. “Helping people and seeing others succeed fills my bucket. I also enjoy problem solving through collaboration, which is a constant occurrence in this position.”
Jeffs attended high school in Winterset, Iowa. He has a Bachelors in Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and received his Masters in Education and Administration Management from the University of Houston. Jeffs has held many roles in his time in education including teaching both 3rd and 4th grades, a behavior interventionist, and an instructional coach. He was an assistant principal in Houston, Texas before moving back to Iowa.
When Jeffs was asked what inspires him, he said teachers. “They have such a challenging job of meeting the needs of many different types of learners, but they are driven to ensure all kids get what they need,” he said. “They all have a heart for kids and will go to great lengths to ensure every child reaches their full potential.”
Jeffs saw a lot of success in the sport of wrestling when he was in elementary school. This success created a desire to push himself to continually improve. That led Jeffs to win a state championship in wrestling for Winterset High School in 1995. While wrestling connected him when he was in school, Jeffs’ favorite way to build a connection with a student today is to just take the time to get to know them and make sure his first interaction is a positive one.
“Whether it is a high five or a hug, I’m in,” he adds.
His advice for families is to always be your child’s number one advocate!
“Show them how much you love them each and every day even when they fall short of your expectations,” said Jeffs. “Emphasize the importance of creativity, problem solving, risk taking, and perseverance.”
Jeffs’ advice for students is to remember, “Time has a way of flying by. Set goals for yourself around always working to be a better person than you were today.”
His favorite school lunch is pizza and he prefers to watch a movie over reading a book. When he has an hour of free time, you’ll find Jeffs spending time with his family either watching a movie or playing board games. He also started his doctorate program in Education at Drake University this year. Jeffs loves learning and is excited to continue that and become a better educator. Seeing students’ smiling faces is what he enjoys about coming to work, which keeps him energized to do the best job he can in supporting the education of our next generation.
Thank you, Principal Jeffs!