Skip to main content
Meet Keston Pelter, Assistant Principal


Meet Keston Pelter, Assistant Principal

Posted: March 19, 2024 | Written By: Sharmin Hossain | Category:


March 1 was Employee Appreciation Day! We're celebrating our team members all month long by sharing their stories. Read more about Keston Pelter, Assistant Principal at Rivermont Schools Rockbridge campus! 

What is your favorite thing about working here?  

My favorite thing about Rivermont is the kids that we serve. I'm so passionate about seeing them grow in different areas outside of academics, but also meeting their behavioral goals and sharpening their social, emotional, and life skills to help them be successful when they transition back to public school or out of our program. I just love that we are that stepping-stone or that middle ground to help meet their needs and make sure this is the most successful place for them if they struggled in their previous setting.  

What keeps you coming to work each day?  

When I moved into this Assistant Principal position, I was so excited that I could get to know each student because I previously taught high schoolers. I was excited that I was able to interact with every student at every age level and learning level. I get to greet the students every morning because I do arrivals. So, I get to see them get out of the car first thing every morning and I'm the one that gets to have that first interaction with them with good mornings, high fives, or fist bumps. 

How do you make an impact on students’ lives?  

I've had students that have graduated or have transitioned back to their public schools come back here to visit. When they keep in touch, whether it's through visits, they send us emails or things like that, it makes me feel like I have made an impact.  

Last year, we rolled out our BetterTogether guiding principles. Which one of our values resonates with you most personally and why? (Integrity, Accountable, Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive)  

Integrity and being collaborative are the values that resonate with me the most. My parents were big at instilling good character. Character is what goes on when no one else is looking, so integrity ties in with that. I think being in the setting we are in, servicing children with special requirements, we need to be a group of people with integrity.  

A couple years ago, we had the slogan of “One Rivermont.” We have really driven to be one. Our ABA program complements our general special education program in classrooms. Especially with having a big school with almost 50 staff and over 80 kids. We would not be a well-oiled machine if we did not work together.  

What does a “day in the life” look like for your role? 

Megan Mason, our principal, and I are blessed here with a big leadership team. I come in every morning to ensure the arrivals go well by ensuring students safely leave the vehicles, greet the students, and make sure classrooms have adequate coverage and support. We are also busy with testing season, so I am also the site testing coordinator. I am in communication with home schools, whether I must sit in on IEP meetings as the administrator or make sure everything is in line with testing environments. I am also the direct support for our teachers. I make sure all their academic and curriculum needs are met.  

Can you talk a little bit about your career trajectory and what led you to where you are now?  

Fun fact, my mom was always pushing me towards the medical field because she's a nurse, so I contemplated becoming a military army nurse or travel nurse. But I’ve always been drawn to education. I was the kid growing up that that played pretend school and had to be the pretend teacher. I've always been drawn to helping people. I had the opportunity to do some substitute teaching when I was in college, and I got called a lot to cover for the special education teachers. So, I got to see and observe the daily inner workings of special education, and that's where my passion formed. I was fortunate enough to be able to start with Rivermont schools right out of college in 2013. I started as a mental health associate. Then, I finished my master's degree and began teaching. Over the past 10 years, I worked my way up into administration. I hope to continue to be in an administrative or leadership role throughout the rest of my career. 

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment in your role?  

My proudest moment was seeing my group of students graduate in 2021 because they were the group that had to leave their junior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to August 2020. When they came back as seniors, they did not have a care in the world. But in May of 2021, nine out of 10 students successfully graduated where one student graduated with an Applied Studies Diploma and the rest graduated with standard diplomas. So, my proudest moment was seeing their transformation where they built strong relationships with us after struggling to trust us in the beginning.  

Over the last two years being in the administrative role, I think another one of my proudest moments has been to be alongside Megan Mason and work hard to shift the culture of our school building and create a positive work environment.  

What is something about you that not many people know? 

I am a coach for the girls' softball team at our local high school. I love athletics, so I am also a runner. I have run many 5K and 10K marathons, as well as running in two half marathons. I would love to be able to go run one of the races at Disney World one day.