By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
If you had asked William ?Willie? Stone when he first graduated college if he would one day be superintendent of a school district, he would have probably laughed.
Stone, the newly appointed superintendent of the Washington School District replacing the outgoing superintendent Jeff Dicks, arrived in the district earlier this week. Since then, he has been getting to know the people he will be working closely with to ensure the district maintains its direction.
Hailing from Pekin/Packwood, Stone said he has visited Washington several times growing up. He attended Central College in Pella, earning an elementary education degree. He taught in Miami, Fla. at Westminster Christian School for three years. Desiring to be closer to family, he returned to Iowa teaching junior high science in Seymour. While there, he earned his master?s degree in administration from Drake University.
Then, he moved to Wilton, where he was the assistant principal and athletic director. During that time, he also received a superintendent certificate through the University of Northern Iowa. He moved to CWL where he worked as the shared superintendent and middle school principal. He worked in Valesco and Corning as a shared superintendent before the area became Southwest Valley, where he served as superintendent.
Stone and his wife Sarah have two children - Caleb Schwab, a sophomore, and Nic Stone, a fourth-grader.
What brings you to Washington?
I was fortunate enough to be offered the superintendent position. It is a great community. I know the community well from being close when I was growing up. We are just excited to be here. We are excited about the opportunities at the school and the great things they have going and we hope to continue that trajectory upward.
Tell me about your experience with Washington.
As a kid we would come here and hang out. I played baseball games on the baseball field. I know the community that way.
Since you have been in Washington what do you think?
I love it. We are excited to be here. Everybody we have met has been great. We knew several people who live in the area or had lived here and they said it is a big town with a small town feel. People are willing to go out of their way to help you. They want to know you and want you to be involved. It sounded like a great opportunity for myself and my family.
How did you get involved in school administration?
When I was at Seymour my high school principal started saying I should look at that. That was really the start of it. When I came out of college if you had asked me if I would be a superintendent I would have said no. My goal has always been to positively affect as many lives as I can, especially students. This position will be able to positively affect 1,778 students. Trying to have that positive affect both academically and in character, those two things are very important to me.
What are some of your hobbies?
I do a little of everything. I?m kind of a jack of all trades. I deer hunt. I pheasant hunt. I golf. I do a little bit of everything. I ride a motorcycle. I?m pretty close to getting my pilot?s license. As a family we are very active.
What are your plans for the future?
My biggest plan is to be here at Washington and help this district continue to move forward. I have followed it for quite a while. They are doing the right things and taking the right steps. We just want to continue to do that, take the next step and continue to move forward.