PHOTO: Brent Meier will become the new principal at Monticello Middle School. (Photo submitted)
By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
When Brent Meier was teaching business classes in the Guthrie Center Community School District, he gave students a piece of advice: to have a career related to something they enjoy.
That is what led Meier to become an educator.
“When I started college, I had an opportunity to reflect on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Meier said. “I enjoyed school and the activities that were associated with school, and thought that would be a great profession.”
Meier, 48, has been in that profession for the past 26 years – all in the Guthrie Center district. That is about to change, as Meier has been hired as Monticello’s new middle school principal.
“My parents both graduated from Monticello High School, and my grandparents lived in the community their entire lives, so I have been around Monticello my whole life,” Meier said.
He has another connection to Monticello – his sister Tami Recker and her family live here as well.
“Tami is the one who first brought the position to my attention,” Meier said.
He will start work in Monticello on July 15, replacing Bill Gilkerson, who announced his retirement after 17 years in the position.
Meier’s interest in education was sparked, he said, by “a very good business teacher and coach in high school, Mike Machovec.”
He attended Springville High School, and then went to the University of Northern Iowa with majors in business education and coaching. After graduating from UNI in 1987, he was hired in Guthrie Center as a business teacher and coach.
Eventually, Meier earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Buena Vista University. He served as middle school principal for five years and elementary principal for the past four.
“I had a lot of encouragement from Steve Smith, the superintendent at Guthrie Center,” Meier said. “He thought that I possessed the qualities he was looking for in an administrator. Also, with my business degree background, it just seemed like the next step for me.
“Also, I have been an activities director for the past 15 years in combination with the teaching and principal positions. So I have a lot of background knowledge in administration in general.”
Meier said his educational philosophies include “to ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn, instill life-long learning skills in students and allow them to develop to their full potential.
“I believe it is important to have a good learning atmosphere as well for students and staff.”
Meier said it won’t be easy to say goodbye to Guthrie Center after 26 years, especially since that district was rated number one in Iowa by Business Week magazine a couple of years ago.
“Obviously, you develop relationships that will make it very difficult to leave,” he said. “But on the other hand, I am really looking forward to developing new relationships in the Monticello area and getting back closer to my family.”
Meier and his wife Jennifer have three children: Andrew, 24; Ashley, 22; and Breanna, 19.