Bauer named principal at Ireland Elementary



IRELAND — Shannon (Marks) Bauer of Jasper always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Today, she got the opportunity to take her career a step further.

The Greater Jasper School Board hired Bauer to succeed Ray Mehling as principal of Ireland Elementary.

“I’m incredibly honored and blessed to be the next principal of Ireland Elementary,” Bauer said after the board’s vote.

A native of Jasper, Bauer grew up the daughter of Lenny and Nancy Marks. She began her career in education 18 years ago when she accepted a job as high ability teacher at Tenth Street Elementary and Ireland Elementary.

After two years teaching high ability, she took a full-time teaching position at Ireland Elementary where she has taught second, third and fourth grades with the bulk of her career being in the third-grade classroom. Over the years, Bauer took on various leadership roles within Ireland Elementary, which led her to pursue a master’s degree in administration at Oakland City University that she completed in 2014.

In addition to her master’s in administration, Bauer holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University and a master’s degree in elementary education from Oakland City University.

While she thinks she might miss the classroom this coming year, she’s excited to jump into her new position and continue the success of Ireland Elementary.

“I want all of the students to know they are cared for,” Bauer said. “That sometimes goes beyond academics.”

Bauer also wants to build on the positive school culture and find ways to partner with the community to make the school and the education its staff provides stronger. Her dream is for the school to feel like “a big Ireland community.”

She also plans to continue interacting with students in a classroom setting as often as possible.

Most of all, she’s excited to take the passion she has for education out of the classroom and into a position where she can share that passion with the whole school. The main thing, she said, is making sure Ireland Elementary is a place where students want to come.

“When your child wants to come to school, they’re going to learn,” Bauer said. “That’s what I’ve always told parents.”

Bauer lives in Jasper with her husband, Jeremy, and her four children — eighth-grader Carson; twins Ethan and Emma, who are in sixth grade; and Luke, a kindergartner.

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