After 33 years in education, South Vienna assistant principal passes baton to 4th-grade teacher

South Vienna Elementary Schools’ assistant principal is retiring this month, and a fourth-grade teacher will fill her position for the remainder of the year.

Belinda Banks, an educator for 33 years, is stepping aside after being with the Northeastern Local School District for five years.

“It has been a very satisfying career,” she said. “There have been many changes to things like standards, technology, etc., but the tenets of education are the same as they have always been. You have to build relationships with students in order for learning to happen. I have always tried to keep that at the forefront of all I do.”

Banks spent 17 years as a high school science teacher and seven as an assistant principal in Fairborn before she was hired as principal of Tippecanoe High school, then later at Northeastern.

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“With each position I moved to, I was able to impact a greater number of students, just in different ways,” she said. “As a science teacher, I saw students go on to be engineers, doctors, researchers, etc. It was great to help get them started on their path.

“As a high school administrator, I set up special programs for freshman transitions to high school. Here at Northeastern, I have been able to work with teachers to bring in the most up-to-date resources and programming for teaching and learning.”

Fourth-grade teacher Angie Williams will fill Banks’ position for the rest of the school year as interim assistant principal, according to the district’s website. A substitute teacher will fill Williams’ role in the classroom.

“I am so excited and looking forward to my new administrative position at South Vienna where I have had many students pass through my classroom, and I call them all ‘my kids.’ Many times, I have to clarify which kids I am talking about, my students at school or my children at home,” Williams said.

Williams, an educator for 25 years, has been with Northeastern for 23 years and has taught fourth, fifth and eighth grade.

“For 23 years, South Vienna has been my home, and I am looking forward to giving back to the community, staff and students by helping improve the quality of education in the Northeastern Local School District to increase student achievement and continue a strong tradition of developing successful lifelong learners,” Williams said.

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This year has been challenging for teachers and students, and Williams said she knows how hard it’s been, so her goal is to support them.

“I know how hard teachers are working in the classroom, and how much parents are working at home. I want to support teachers in a time where classroom demands increase daily, and I want to support, encourage and involve more parent interactions so that student success is inevitable,” she said.

Banks said her biggest challenge has been related to school funding, technology and the schools’ role.

“Sometimes it has been issues surrounding school funding, trying to do more with less. Sometimes the leaps and bounds in technology, including social media, have been a challenge. Also, the role of the schools has expanded to more than just teaching. They have had to expand into being a social service agency,” she said.

After she retires, Banks said she looks forward to pursuing other interests such as cooking, traveling and being outdoors. She said her husband is also retiring, so they are making plans as well.

“The district would like to thank Ms. Banks for her many years of service to education at Northeastern Local School District and beyond and Ms. Williams for stepping into this important role for the rest of the year,” the district said in a statement.

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