Principal profile: Amy Hart and Jody Foster
Jody Foster, principal of Woodman Elementary, and Amy Hart, principal of Stanley Elementary, have a lot in common; both are principals and both are working moms. Also, they are sisters.
Jody Foster began her career in education as a para at Andover Public Schools while going to school at Butler Community College. She transferred to Wichita State to finish her teaching degree and began student teaching in Wichita Public Schools at Dodge Literacy Magnet. She was part of the district’s Grow Your Own Teacher program and worked at Dodge for five years as a third- and fifth-grade teacher. After that, she was an assistant principal at Isely Traditional Magnet Elementary and Washington Elementary. She moved to principal of Cleaveland Traditional Magnet Elementary for two years and for the past two years she has been the principal at Woodman Elementary.
“I’d always wanted to work with children,” Foster said. “The more I got into teaching, the more I loved it. All the organization and planning that go into teaching were right up my alley.”
“I love being a principal because of the impact you can have not only on students and staff, but on the community,” Foster said.
Foster’s children, a first- and third-grader, attend Woodman with her.
Amy was hired as first-year middle school English Language Arts teacher at Christa McAuliffe Academy where she taught for seven years. Her principal at the time, Shawn Springer, approached her about becoming a principal.
She went back to school and became an administrator. Her first position was as an assistant principal at Cloud Elementary followed by two years at Colvin Elementary. She’s been the principal at Stanley Elementary for the past two years.
“The best thing about being a principal is the connections you get to make,” Hart said. “The connections are key.”
Foster and Hart really appreciate being able to use each other as a sounding board when issues come up or for support.
“Jody has been doing this longer than I have,” Hart said. “She has so much more experience than me even though I’m the older sister.”
“We can give each other honest feedback, which I really appreciate,” Foster said.
This isn’t the first time the sisters have worked for the same organization.
“We both worked for QuikTrip at the same time,” Foster said.
Although they’re six years apart, the sisters both graduated from Wichita State together. They share a joke about Jody having her name called at graduation first because her married name came first alphabetically.
“I worked at QuikTrip for 13 years and got into management,” said Amy. “I decided I wanted to go back to school to have career where I could make a difference, so I became a teacher.”