From a young child playing school to her time in college, Laurie Blain always knew she wanted to be a teacher. With 21 years experience in education, 10 of those in administration, Blain has been hired to serve as principal at Cain Elementary.
Originally from Houston, Blain has lived in Tyler over five years. She was employed last year as the assistant principal of Andy Woods Elementary in Tyler after serving as assistant principal at Mamie Griffin Elementary, also in Tyler, from 2013-2017.
Blain’s interest in becoming part of Whitehouse Independent School District is multi-faceted.
“Whitehouse has just always been very appealing to me,” Blain stated. “When you speak to teachers, administrators from this district, they are all super passionate about what they do. They just made it very appealing to come to this district. I love the close-knit community. I love that it has that small-town feel.”
While she says it will be her greatest challenge moving into a new district, getting to know the people, staff, teachers and community also appeal to her.
Blain describes her leadership style as hands-on, visible and based on relationships.
“I think we have to build strong, positive relationships in order to be successful,” Blain commented. “Most big decisions will be made through committees, through teacher input. The teachers’ voice has to be heard as well. I think they are just as important as I am.”
Understanding security is an issue but coming into a new district, Blain states she will follow the district’s lead when it comes to security protocols. She did mention a few items that will be pursued on the Cain Elementary campus to help ensure the safety of students and staff, also noting it will be necessary for office staff to be aware of who is coming and going on campus.
“We will have a system in place to ensure that at certain times of the day there is a door check to make sure all the doors are locked and shut,” Blain specified.” In an elementary school those kids go out on the playground, so we’re going to train the teachers so they are the last ones in and those doors are shut and locked. At lunchtime, we are going to make sure that we are staffed correctly to ensure that all eyes are not just on kids, but [on] any adults in the building as well.”
When it comes to her personal philosophy regarding education, Blain believes that all students can learn and each student matters. She also states parents are vital to their children’s education.
“Parents are the key,” Blain said. “We are all on the same team. It’s not one against the other, but we’re all there for the same purpose.”
Blain and husband Kevin are also parents and have three children, Bailey, 17; Blake, 14, and Allison, 6. Bailey, who has been attending Robert E. Lee will continue there this fall as her parents couldn’t justify moving her to another campus for her senior year. Blake will attend Bullard High School where his father is principal while Allison will attend school in Whitehouse.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Blain concluded. “I know that this community is a very strong, supportive community so I’m excited to work with them and the students and the staff at Cain. We have a great administration so I’m excited to learn from them. I think, too, I’ve been super impressed with the team of principals that the district has. I can tell that everybody is very close and so I’m excited to have that collaborative environment.”