I am in my 18th year in education. I started teaching at Grandville High School in 1996, and I taught English, math, and a Leadership class. I then took a job as the assistant principal at Spring Lake High School and was there for two-and-a-half years. I then came to AHS as the high school principal and am starting my 5th year here.
What makes you love coming to work each day?
I love seeing the students daily. I love their energy, enthusiasm, and positive spirit. I really enjoy our staff, and I love the challenge as well.
What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?
I answer -sometimes literally- hundreds of emails, and I make decisions that will make one person or group of people very happy and another very unhappy.
Name something you personally look forward to each school year.
I love football games because they involve so many aspects of the school community; the band, the players, the students having a ball in the stands, everything, I just love it. I love Collage because I am consistently blown away by the caliber of our students’ talent. I love meeting the freshman class, I love Honors Convocation, and I kind of love graduation, but I hate saying good-bye.
If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?
I don’t think funds have anything to do with environment, I believe it is the attitude of the staff, and I wouldn’t change a thing in that area. I would love to have a program, though, that would mentor those students who just do not seem to have a connection to the school.
What was the best part of your summer vacation?
The best part of my summer was all of the time I was able to spend with my family. During the school year there are days I do not see my kids and it stinks, so we do a TON together during the summer.
What is your favorite book? (Can be a children’s book or an adult book)
It is very difficult for me to choose my favorite book because there are so many good ones. I LOVE The Catcher in the Rye and feel like it should be read by all teenagers, especially those who feel at odds or confused with life and/or adults. Raising Fences is outstanding; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Fahrenhiet 451, The Scarlet Letter, The Prophet, The Bible … the list goes on and on! As far as professional reading, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a life changer of a book…I could go on! If I started on kids’ books, this list would not end because we have read to our kids every night for years and that list of books is really long!
What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?
There is so much to learn that ONE piece of advice is tough. That said, I would say, just be a good person, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy your life.