Welcome Lisa South, New Principal of Getz School!
Tempe Elementary is excited to welcome a friendly new face who is leading one of our schools this year. Lisa South has traveled a long educational and personal journey which has led her to her new position as principal of Getz School. Beginning with a passion for education which began in high school, South has gathered the experience, tact, and genuine care needed to lead Getz teachers and students to success.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with kids,” said South. “It began with a high school course where I was able to assist in a resource, first-grade, and fifth-grade classroom. Then, after college the passion for working in education grew.”
As a mother of four, South put her pursuit in education on hold until her youngest entered elementary school. She then returned to school to complete a teaching certificate and subsequently became certified in multiple areas of education.
South has certificates in special education and learning disabilities, early childhood development, and reading specialist just to name a few. She has also achieved a master’s degree in language, reading and culture, and educational leadership.
“I chose to specialize in all of these areas because I believe every child is unique,” said South. “By having the perspective and the tools to support them, I am able to provide the best educational experience for each student.”
South has held roles such as a classroom teacher, resource teacher, early childhood teacher, reading specialist and learning support coordinator. For the past five years, she was then the principal at a pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade elementary school. South has also achieved educational awards such as Rodel Aspiring Principal, Rodel Exemplary Principal Semi-Finalist, and Betsy Bounds Leading Light Award for exemplary leadership in exceptional education.
“My philosophy is to teach children that they have the gift of choice,” said South. “They can be whoever they want to be.”
This is South’s first position in the Tempe Elementary School District, and it is clear she is excited about finding a new workplace to call “home.”
“TD3 has a wonderful reputation,” said South. “It’s an amazing culture of employees that demonstrate ‘student-first’ thinking, and everyone I have encountered goes above and beyond to support our students.”
In terms of the future of Getz, South has already set plans in motion to further engage with the community, partner with other schools and the District, and keep an eye out for grant opportunities. In addition, South is supporting the City of Tempe’s free preschool program, Tempe PRE, across the 13 new classrooms in our District.
“This has been a beginning of a new journey,” said South. “So far the support has been incredible, and I am excited for what the future holds.”