Principal | Hooks Elementary School
Kevin Breiby is beginning his fourth year working at Hooks Elementary School, serving as their principal; however, he is entering his 17th year in education. “Over the years, I have taught all grade levels in Physical Education, Health Education, and Adaptive/Specially Designed Physical Education. I have coached high school baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball, club swimming, and goalball for the visually impaired,” Breiby says. As an administrator, he has served as an elementary and high school assistant principal. All of these experiences, Breiby believes, were instrumental in leading him to serve as the principal of Hooks Elementary. “I enjoy motivating others to achieve their fullest potential. This field allows me to be a part of that process daily,” he says.
Breiby was influenced from an early age to enter the educational field. He says, “When I was in high school, I had a youth pastor who allowed me to lead and coach youth activities at the camps and retreats we attended. Through those experiences and seeing my peers succeed, I knew I wanted to become a coach and work with kids. As my career advanced, I pursued a degree in Educational Leadership and now use many of the same coaching attributes with my students and staff.” Breiby believes this educational field is not for the faint of heart. He chooses to rely on his faith in God and his relationship with Him to help him through all days, especially the tough ones. “No matter what takes place throughout the day, I am blessed to go home to my amazing wife. She is my motivator and support and helps me keep things in perspective. She is a godly example and source of wisdom. My kids are also a continuous motivator for me, as I am to be an example and role model for them. Being surrounded by my immediate and extended family is a source of God’s peace, love, and comfort,” Breiby says.
What are the challenging parts of Breiby’s job? Being able to instruct students academically when a student is not prepared to learn. “Many students today face challenging circumstances outside of school, often affecting their academic, emotional, social, and sometimes physical self. Educators are tasked with instructing students academically in subject areas with rigorous state standards and grade-level content; however, this can be challenging if the student is not physically or emotionally prepared to learn. We strive to overcome these challenges in many ways – by developing positive relationships with students and their families, seeking to learn what motivates students, and providing a consistent environment and expectations,” Breiby says. He believes, “If you have a child’s heart, you have his head,” and strives to remember this daily.
Ensuring a good relationship between Breiby and his community of parents and students is a high priority for him. He states that positive relationships with parents, families, and community members are valuable and vitally important to him, the staff, and the Hooks school district. “We are all players on the same team with a common goal: helping students become successful,” Breiby says. “I do my best to treat others with kindness and respect, listen when there is an issue or concern, provide helpful and constructive feedback if necessary, and celebrate successes often.” This outstanding intent for building relationships has led to the best moments of Breiby’s job. “Some of the best moments have been when students and staff are excited to come to see me and share their successes, moments of happiness, and experiences,” he says.
As much of a positive role as Breiby plays in the hundreds of students that cross his school’s doorstep, Breiby has also had many life experiences that shaped him as an educator. “I have been blessed with people who helped influence and shape my life from a young age. I was raised in a godly home with parents who were loving, supportive, and hard-working pillars of the community. My grandparents were my biggest fans, and my sisters still encourage me today. As previously mentioned, my youth pastor served as a mentor to me early on and encouraged me to be a leader. I was also fortunate to learn and perform under the leadership of one of the country’s top collegiate band directors of all time – he was tough and demanding and expected excellence. He pushed me beyond my limits but was also very relational and took a personal interest in his students’ lives. Over the years, I have worked with many fantastic teachers and coaches and have served with great administrators – all of which have taught me so much and left many lasting impressions,” Breiby says.
Breiby feels that developing positive relationships, fostering student growth and success, and seeing others achieve goals and accomplishments are the most rewarding parts of working in education. Of course, there are also fun times and favorite memories that stand out. “So many stories come to mind that are laugh-out-loud moments, perplexing situations, and times of joy and celebration. Over the years, I should have been writing a book entitled, ‘You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up.’” Breiby says.