Melinda Stivers Named New Principal at Farmer Elementary

Brings 26 years of experience to role

By Juliann Morris

May 26, 2023–Farmer Elementary School Assistant Principal Melinda Stivers has been promoted to the school’s top job following current Principal Shannon Conlon’s retirement.

Melinda Stivers smiles.

Stivers joined Farmer Elementary in 2008 as a teacher, became the school’s academic instructional coach in 2017, and was promoted to assistant principal in 2021. She is thrilled to continue growing at a school where she has established relationships with students, staff, and families, she said.

“Culture and climate, that’s where my heart is,” Stivers said. “Farmer is such a special place, and I am honored to build on the strong culture and climate. I’m going to focus on celebrating our students’ and staff's success.”

Stivers has 26 years of experience in education with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS). Prior to joining Farmer, Stivers worked as an elementary teacher at McFerran Preparatory Academy and Trunnell Elementary.

“Ms. Stivers brings a wealth of experience in building instructional capacity centered around academic achievement and equity coupled with high expectations for students and staff members,” said Joe Leffert, assistant superintendent for elementary zone 3. “Her equity centered approach will foster access and success for all students.”

Stivers earned her Education Specialist Principal Certification from Asbury University. She also holds a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Indiana University Southeast and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Spalding University.

As the academic instructional coach and then assistant principal at Farmer, Stivers built invaluable experience strengthening initiatives like the school’s professional learning communities (PLCs), Structured Literacy strategies implementation, and Racial Equity Committee. That experience coupled with a strong work ethic and commitment to students’ success both emotionally and academically will serve her well in the new position, she said.

Stivers thrives at strong collaboration while keeping expectations high for the whole school community. She is grateful for the opportunity to lead like-minded staff at Farmer, she said.

“We are all focused, and we all have the same goals in mind,” Stivers said. “Farmer is a very goal-oriented place where people work hard and are dedicated to showing up each day to give their best for our students. I’m so excited and honored for this opportunity.”