Crateau relishing transition to administration as Bearden’s new freshman principal

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Mrs. Meshon Crateau meets with Coach John Rice in the West Mall. Mrs. Crateau is the newest addition to Bearden’s admin team.

Emma Kate Poole, News Editor

This year has brought an abundance of change to Bearden including several new staff members on the administration team.

Mrs. Meshon Crateau comes to Bearden as the new assistant principal of the freshman class after 25 years in the classroom. 

Mrs. Crateau has an extensive amount of experience as a teacher from starting off teaching every subject to all boys at a Level III Lockdown Facility called Haslam Academy, then at a self-contained emotionally disturbed 7th Grade class at a Loudon County vocational school, and then Senior English in a rural high school in Kentucky, to teaching English at larger schools including Loudon High School and Hardin Valley Academy.

At Hardin Valley, she coached the dance team and eventually became freshman dean. 

When she started college, Mrs. Crateau did not initially plan to be an educator, but after experimenting in other majors, she eventually found her true calling. 

“I started college wanting to be a dietitian or a psychologist, and needless to say, I changed my mind after a few classes,” Mrs. Crateau said. “I seemed to enjoy English and happened to be pretty good at it, so I got the English degree.  

“I have always enjoyed helping and working with others, especially children, so teaching just seemed to be a natural fit.”

After over two decades of teaching, Mrs. Crateau wanted a change and decided to work toward receiving an administration role. 

“I was in love with my role as freshman dean, and I loved working with students, parents, teachers, and administrators,” Mrs. Crateau said. “I found myself really wanting to do more of the admin role, so during lunch one day, I registered for the Ed.S. program at Lincoln Memorial University.

“After a year of loving going back to school, learning, and growing, I got my Ed.S. and three weeks after I finished my last assignment, I was able to interview at Bearden High School and landed the most wonderful job ever.”

Mrs. Crateau was well prepared for her position as the new freshman administrator, with experience coming from her time as a teacher, her time as freshman dean at HVA, and her time observing the great leaders she worked with. 

“I have had great principals in my years of teaching that have taught me what a great leader does,” Mrs. Crateau said. “When I hear of teachers struggling, I can very well relate and I can see through all lenses because of my years of teaching and still being a parent to three children – two in high school. 

“The bottom line is a principal is there for teachers, students, and community.”

Even through these challenging times, Mrs. Crateau has adjusted well to her new school environment and has found Bearden to be extremely welcoming. 

“I am in love with Bearden High School, but it has been a weird start because I am not seeing the Bulldogs in full action [due to Covid-19],” Mrs. Crateau said. “However, Bearden has been the most warm and welcoming place ever and I feel like I have not met a stranger here.  

“Everyone has gone above and beyond to welcome me, and I cannot wait until I know more people outside the BHS walls.”

When she is not at Bearden, Mrs. Crateau enjoys spending time with her family and supporting her kids on the sidelines. 

“I spend my time with my family because I know my time with my kids is short,” Mrs. Crateau said. “I have a senior at HVA, Madison; and a freshman, Kennedy, and they dance and cheer for HVA, so many Friday nights have been spent supporting them on the sidelines.  

“I have a son, Logan, who is in first grade that loves football and I have enjoyed watching him on the sidelines.”

During her time at Bearden, Mrs. Crateau has found the Bearden community to be full of love and support, and she plans to bring even more energy to that aspect of Bearden. 

“I think that I bring lots of energy to Bearden High School,” Mrs. Crateau said. “Loving students is nothing new to BHS admin and staff, and I want parents to know that they can reach me anytime. 

“I am not afraid to give out my cell and become a part of their village.”