Tara Grant
Second Year at BHES 
I have always enjoyed going to school, learning, and reading. When I was in elementary school at Belle Heth Elementary, I had wonderful teachers and friends. My favorite teacher was Marilyn Bowman in third grade. She took the time to listen to me and I felt valued! I couldn’t wait to visit the library and discover new books to read. I also grew up in a family of teachers, so it is not a coincidence that I am still going to school every day!

I committed to graduate from Radford High School in 1990. I had a very competitive group of peers, so I had to do several hours of homework when I got home from track practice. I ran cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track for four years. Because of the lack of free time, I had to use my time-wisely and put first things first (Habit 3). I knew I wanted to graduate from college so I had an academic plan (Habit 2) in order to do that.

I then committed to graduate from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, in 1994. I met new friends from all over the United States. I learned how to survive on my own and be responsible (Habit 1). I graduated with a degree in Human Communication, Public Relations.

After working for a couple of years, I changed my mind and wanted to be a teacher! I went back to school AGAIN! I committed to graduate from Radford University and get my teaching certification and master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. This time when I was in school, it was really tough because I was working too! I had to prioritize work and play so I could be successful and graduate.

I taught third and fifth grade at Christiansburg Elementary School in Montgomery County for several years. I enjoyed using technology in my daily routine. I then realized that I could be an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher. So, I did that for several years. I helped principals, teachers, and students learn how to integrate technology into their daily learning. I enjoyed working with principals so much, I decided I wanted to be one and help students and teachers.

I committed to graduate from Radford University AGAIN to be a school administrator. Yes, it was very hard to teach all day, go to class two nights a week, and be a wife and a mom. I was successful because I had support from my family. It is important to have people that believe in you and want you to reach your dreams.

I served as principal of Belview Elementary for three years before coming home to Radford where I began my journey as principal of Belle Heth Elementary. I am SO excited to work in the community where I live with my family. Working in Radford is a dream come true! I know the students, staff, and families are wonderful people that want the best for their children.

As we move forward with innovation, we are keeping the future of our students in the forefront of our vision. We want our students to be thinkers, problem-solvers, designers, inventors, computer scientists, and life-long learners with a growth mindset. This year, we are implementing a Library MakerSpace for designing and creating inventions and prototypes to solve problems. We are partnering with Qualcomm and Virginia Tech to implement a Qualcomm Inspired Thinkabit STEAM Lab for our students to explore STEM careers and have hands-on engineering experiences. We want to prepare our students for future jobs that aren't even created yet!