A year ago, Becky Lamberth Stevens retired as principal of Lake Highlands Elementary to focus on her own family and volunteer at Carolyn Bukhair Elementary, one of Richardson ISD’s 5 ACE campuses targeted for additional resources to improve student performance. This month, Stevens announced she’ll return to RISD to become principal of White Rock Elementary.
“I am really happy to be coming back to RISD, especially to be back in Lake Highlands. When I left LHE last year, I was upset to be leaving such an amazing school and community and just kept thinking that I was giving up something that I may not ever be able to get back.”
Stevens isn’t new to WRE, and her family is certainly not new to Lake Highlands. The Moss Haven, Forest Meadow and Lake Highlands High graduate served as WRE assistant principal from 2014-16. Her brother, Tommy, is a teacher and coach at Pearce High, and her sister, Maggie, teaches first grade at Wallace Elementary.
“When WRE opened up, it was all I could think about,” says Stevens. “Lee (Walker Conn) encouraged me the entire time, and she was so supportive. It is great to be back at White Rock, this time at the helm knowing so many staff members and families are there already.”
Back when she announced her initial departure, Stevens admitted she wasn’t sure how long retirement would last.
“About half way through the year this year, I started itching to work again. I had a blast as a stay-at-home mom, and I got a good break going on some trips with my husband and family that I normally wouldn’t have while I was working. I’ve worked since I was 16 – I submitted my application to the Gap on my 16th birthday – and this was the first time I hadn’t had a job.”
Stevens says the year-long retirement was eye-opening.
“It was such a great experience for me to be home more, and it taught me an entirely new appreciation for stay-at-home moms. (laughing) It’s hard to feel successful at anything when your employers are toddlers or babies.”
Stevens will greet teachers when WRE employees return from summer break in July and parents when school begins Thursday, Aug. 15.