Lifelong learner hired at Clear Creek

Amy Wells is a lifelong learner and will helm Clear Creek Elementary as principal starting the 2022-2023 school year.

Shelby County Public Schools hired a lifetime learner for the head job at Clear Creek Elementary. Amy Wells started a new adventure July 1 as the school’s new principal and is continuing a career of service to students returning to class Aug. 10.

Wells lives in Simpsonville, loves the community atmosphere in Shelby County and has already met staff and parents. Community support means a great deal to Wells.

“I’m thrilled,” Wells said. “This community is so welcoming, teachers, parents, the community at large. They have excitement and pride in the Clear Creek community. It’s a safe and effective learning environment.”

Wells enjoys living and working in the same community. She and her husband moved to Simpsonville two years ago, but her in-laws have resided in Simpsonville for two decades.

Ocean to puddle

Most recently, Wells served for four years in Jefferson County Public Schools as assistant principal at W.E.B. DuBois Academy creating “an afro-centric curriculum” for male students of color.

Before JCPS, she worked 18 years in various positions in Oldham County Public Schools, serving as elementary teacher, instructional coach at the district level, reading intervention, and director of curriculum and staff development.

Oldham’s school system is a bit bigger than Shelby but more comparable. “It was like going from a puddle [Oldham] into the ocean [JCPS],” Wells said. JCPS has nearly 100,000 students.

“It’s so exciting and heartwarming to be back in a smaller district. Everyone knows everybody’s name.”

Start of school

Wells cannot wait until school starts in a few weeks to see her students’ faces. “At that age, they have joy and excitement and love of learning,” she said. “I cannot wait to be back inside classrooms with primary and elementary learners. Younger students have admiration for their teacher, and that is at the heart of the work we do.”

Clear Creek already hosted Meet the Teacher on July 21 and will conduct an open house Aug. 8.

Initiative

First grade teachers started their stand of learning that focuses on phonics and phonetic awareness this summer and will continue throughout the year, including Caroline Raley, Lindsay Houston and Hannah Classen.

“All three Clear Creek teachers are participating in the Bellarmine University Literacy Project with SCPS to increase their knowledge of teaching reading so that CCE students have highly-skilled, knowledgeable teachers to support their achievement,” said Cyndi Powell Chaney, public relations coordinator for SCPS.

“That’s exciting news for students and families in the Clear Creek community,” Wells said. “Learning opportunities are phenomenal. Strands of learning are year-long in-depth studies. Teachers can grow professionally in an area.” Coaching and follow-up sweetens the deal.

Next, according to Wells, these teachers will tackle comprehension and writing. Bellarmine assistant literacy professor, Winn Wheeler, Ph.D. will teach this program.

teachers also have support of instructional coaches at SCPS, including Philip Wakeman.

Strand learning days occur when teachers don’t have students in class. “They can try strategies out, get feedback from the instructional coach,” Wells said.

The personal side

Wells’ husband Will is a retired superintendent and is now an assistant professor of instructional and school leadership and school administration at Bellarmine.

The couple have three children – grown twins John and Anna from Will’s previous marriage, a freshman, Larkin from Amy’s previous marriage and their fur babies, a beagle and a German shepherd.

Amy Wells is a former collegiate volleyball player and stays active. Wells and her husband love to be outside, camping and hiking. “We love to travel as a family. You know what they say, when it comes to family, always take the trip. That’s where memories are made.”

And Wells plans to make many new memories at Clear Creek.