I have heard it said, "It takes a special kind of person to work with middle schoolers!" CCA is blessed to have just this special kind of person join our school community this year. We are excited to welcome our new middle school principal, Travis Niemeyer.
Travis is a native Texan from Garland. He was raised in a strong Christian family and came to faith in Christ as a teenager. Travis earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of North Texas, where he graduated Cum Laude. He then earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas in Arlington, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Travis taught Middle School history, English, and math for ten years. He then moved into Middle School administration, where he has served for the past nine years. Travis and Michelle have been married for seventeen years and attend Hillside Community Church, where Travis leads a weekly men’s Bible Study.
Travis has a special heart for leading teachers, loving students, and partnering with families during the crazy middle school years. I hope you enjoy getting to know him more through this interview.
Tell us about your life before CCA.
I was born and raised in Garland, Texas, by two wonderful Christian parents who taught me about Christ and modeled how to walk with Him daily. After graduating from Lakeview Centennial High School, I spent a year in junior college before transferring to the University of North Texas. At this time in my life, I quit seeking the Lord and did what was wise in my own 19-year-old eyes. For me, that meant trying to find a career with high salary potential, so I majored in marketing. After a series of different sales jobs, I ended up selling school library books, which took me into elementary and middle schools day after day. As I walked down the halls surrounded by kids, I was overcome by joy and this odd feeling that I was home. As I prayed, I became convinced God was calling me to teach, something I had never considered before. After getting my teaching certificate, a friend from church hired me to teach 5th-grade American history and Language Arts at Timberline Elementary. Ironically, my move to teaching and the lower salary required a second job running the weeknight preschool program at Fellowship Church. This is where I met a beautiful young teacher, Michelle Baker, who also joined the preschool staff to make some extra money. Not long afterward, she became Mrs. Michelle Niemeyer.
The friend who hired me at Timberline Elementary left to become a middle school principal five years later and convinced me to join his staff there. After teaching for ten years, I again felt God’s calling, but this time into school administration. I served as the assistant principal for 9 years at Colleyville Middle School. And now, I am so excited to join CCA’s amazing middle school staff and the CCA family as the middle school principal.
What was your first job?
My first job was in 6th grade when a man from our church would pay me $20 to spend all day Saturday helping him clean pools. He would drop me off at an apartment pool with the supplies needed, and I would clean the pool and then swim until he came back to get me. Shortly after this, in 8th grade, I got my first “official” job (which means I actually started paying taxes) at the car wash on the way home from school. This is where I learned to drive (thinking back, this is really pretty scary).
What do you love about CCA?
I love the community of CCA. Michelle and I have been CCA parents for nine years and still have friends that began when Asher was in Pre-K 3. We have grown as parents with these friends and met many others over the years. I have told people before that one of the reasons I’m so excited about coming to CCA is I can build much deeper relationships with the kids and their families.
What is one thing you wish parents knew?
I wish all parents could see how hard the teachers at CCA work. All teachers put in countless hours after school and on weekends during the school year, but I am blown away at the number of teachers that have been up at school over the summer working to ensure next year is a success.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Relationships are definitely my favorite part of the job. When I taught 5th grade, I hated that the kids would move on to middle school, and I would rarely see them again. What has me so excited about CCA is the opportunity to develop relationships with the students, staff, and parents that last through their high school years.
Would you say you're more of an introvert or extrovert?
While in college, I worked for a time at IBM in their human resources department and took the Myers-Brigg test. At that time, I scored right in the middle on the introvert/extrovert portion. Over the years, though, I feel I have become more introverted. After reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, I see many of the characteristics of introverts in myself, namely the need for time alone to recharge.
What is your definition of success?One of my favorite authors is Coach John Wooden. He put together a definition of success I have used as a launching pad for my definition of success. For me, success is not about power, prestige, or possessions. Instead, success is the peace of God that comes from knowing I have done my best to live a life worthy of imitation (1 Cor. 11.1) and have taken advantage of every opportunity to intentionally pursue God’s purpose (Eph 5.15-17).
What is your favorite way to spend time with your family?I love spending time with Michelle and the boys outside (when it’s not 105 degrees). I enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, disc golf, and most any outdoor adventure.
What is your favorite book of all time?
As someone who loves books and reading, this is an impossible question but also one I can’t resist. Books are a passion for me. I love reading them, discussing them, and quoting them. So to pick one favorite book is like picking your favorite child. In 5th grade, my teacher read Where the Red Fern Grows each day before lunch, and I loved it. However, like many boys, I was too busy and active in middle school to spend much time reading. However, Huck Finn was the book that really ignited my love for reading. I read Wild at Heart when I needed to be challenged not to play it safe but to make bold steps of faith. The Book Whisperer and In the Middle transformed how I taught. And The Divine Conspiracy and Celebration of Discipline challenged me to go deeper in my faith.
When it comes to leading a middle school community, Travis is the best of the best. We can't wait to dive into the school year with him!