Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 18, 2013

Wigley to be next JELC principal

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — Mia Lisa Wigley is ready to take on that next challenge in her life as she’s been officially named to be the next principal at a Pauls Valley school for the youngest of students.

This week school board members gave their approval for Wigley to step in as the new principal starting next year at Jefferson Early Learning Center, which houses classes for pre-school and kindergarten students.

Wigley will replace longtime PV educator and school administrator Jeanie Menefee, who will retire at the end of the current year.

“When a door opens you need to be ready to take it,” Wigley said a few hours after being named the next JELC principal.

“You need to accept the challenge and do the best you can,” she said. “It’s definitely another challenge for me, and I’m very excited about it.”

Now that she’s tabbed for the job Wigley’s top priority is work toward a smooth transition with the departure of a longtime principal like Menefee and the arrival of someone new in the head administrator’s office.

“Jeanie has done a wonderful job and I only hope I can continue to carry on her rich tradition of love and respect for students, staff and community,” Wigley said.

“I’m hoping to continue that with a smooth transition. It’s very important for the kids to have a smooth transition,” she said.

Wigley is very familiar with this area as she was raised in Wynnewood and graduated high school there.

After a period of being a stay-at-home mom in Wynnewood with three kids, Wigley went back to college and in 1994 earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from East Central University in Ada.

That’s when she got her first job in the field as she taught sixth grade math for five years in Sulphur.

She remained in Sulphur working as the school counselor for grades four through six.

In 2000 she received her master’s degree and got her certification in school counseling for K-12 and elementary principal.

Five years later Wigley arrived in Pauls Valley and has remained at Lee Elementary since then serving as the elementary counselor.

The only tough part about her new challenge as the new JELC principal starting next school year is leaving her school “family” at Lee.

“It’s bitter sweet. I have a family here,” she said.

“It’s going to be hard to leave my friends here, but at the same time I’ve excited going over (to Jefferson).”

Making the recommendation to hire Wigley as the new principal was school Superintendent Darsha Huckabaa.

“She’ll be a good fit for the administrator’s job at Jefferson,” Huckabaa said on Friday.

“She’s an excellent choice with an elementary background, she’s one of the most organized people I know and she’s done an outstanding job the last three years as our district testing coordinator,” the superintendent said.

Huckabaa also believes the transition to a new principal will be a smooth one.

“This was done early enough to give her some time with Mrs. Menefee. That should help make that an easy transition.”