Posts Tagged With: Meet Your Principal

Meet Your Principal: Tamika Henry

For our final installment in this series, we speak with Mrs. Henry. Although Mrs. Henry is technically the Assistant Principal of New Options High School, she assumes much of the day-to-day leadership with her steady presence in the building. For this reason, we are happy to include her in this series

Allendale Public Schools, Tamika Henry1. Tell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.

I originally went to school to be either an entertainment lawyer or a psychologist. I have always had the desire to assist people in having the best life they possibly could. However, after having a family and realizing just how much both of those careers would keep me from nurturing my own household, I decided to go down the path that my father had journeyed, education. As a child I watched my father nurture children that had very challenging situations into a life of productivity. I felt as though this would be a path that I would be able to help young people while at the same time being able to be the best mother possible. I started my educational career at the University of Michigan majoring in psychology and African American studies and completed my teaching certificate at Grand Valley State University. Upon graduating from GVSU I substituted quite a bit in my children’s school. A part-time position came open in Allendale High School and I applied. I taught at the High School for 3 years and then took a position at New Options HS. After teaching at New Options for 6 years an opportunity to move into administration presented itself, and the rest is history in the making.

2. What makes you love coming to work each day?

It is said that if you have the opportunity to do what you love you will never work a day in your life. I can honestly say that I have not worked a day in the last 12 years of my life! Education is my passion because I know that it is through education that the world opens up and offers her precious jewels. A high quality education is a human right that every person deserves because it is an inalienable right. The fact that I can offer something to young people that will last them a life time brings me back every day—no matter what the day before was like.

3. What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?

I meditate each and every morning asking for divine guidance and assistance to do no harm; to bring light and not heat. I believe that every encounter is one that has the opportunity of being life changing.

4. Name something you personally look forward to each school year.

New challenges and seeing how my students have changed over the summer.

5. If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?
 
I build the most phenomenal educational edifice that would make my students know and feel that they are the most special people in the world.

6. What was the best part of your summer vacation?

Preparing my last child (my only daughter) for college. We are now officially empty nesters!!!

7. What is your favorite book? (Can be a kid’s book or an adult book)

I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou. I love books (memoirs) about overcoming adversity.

8. What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?

Education is the key to the world; get your copy and unlock a phenomenal future!
Categories: Allendale New Options High School | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Meet Your Principal: Dan Remenap

Dan Remenap, Allendale Public School, Allendale High SchoolTell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.  

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.

Categories: Allendale High School, Allendale Public Schools | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Meet Your Principal: Rocky Thompson

Rocky Thompson, Allendale Public Schools, Allendale Middle School1. Tell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.

I started in education at the age of 29. I taught middle school students for a total of ten years and have been the middle school principal since then.

2. What makes you love coming to work each day?

I get excited to come to work everyday because of the energy that the students bring with them. I see them and know how good of a job I have.

3. What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?

I have to fill a number of roles, but one that is surprising is I am the person that students are referred to when they have been injured in some way.

4. Name something you personally look forward to each school year.

The return of the students! It livens things up when they get here.

5. If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?

I would hire a number of school counselors to go into the community to offer support for parents.

6. What was the best part of your summer vacation?

I didn’t take a summer vacation.

7. What is your favorite book? (Can be a kid’s book or an adult book)

The Poet by Connelly

8. What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?

If you want something that is important to you, put your heart and soul into working for it.

Categories: Allendale Middle School, Allendale Public Schools | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Your Principal: Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson, Allendale Public Schools
1. Tell us about your career journey in education, including how long you’ve been in your current role at Allendale.

 

This is my 30th year with APS! My undergraduate degree from Hope College is in elementary education with a major in special education and a minor in psychology. My master’s degree from WMU is in reading, I also have additional training in educational administration and Reading Recovery. I started at Allendale teaching special education in a resource room for students in kindergarten – third grade. I have also taught first grade and worked as a reading specialist with our district.

 

2. What makes you love coming to work each day?

 

I enjoy watching the students respond to their instruction.  There is nothing better than witnessing a love for learning.  Our staff is so caring and talented! The school community is supportive and appreciated.  There is something new and exciting every day!

 

3. What is something you do each day that people probably don’t realize principals have to do?

 

I usually walk about 11,000 steps a day, checking on students, teachers and building needs.

 

4. Name something you personally look forward to each school year.

 

The excitement of a new year with our youngest learners!

 

5. If you had an unlimited financial and/or volunteer reserve, what would you do to improve your educational environment?

 

I would lower the class size in every classroom and provide additional instructional support for every classroom.  I would purchase more resources for each classroom and update our technology including purchasing some IPADs.  Our current building is very close to capacity too!

 

6. What was the best part of your summer vacation?

 

My husband and I took an enjoyable trip to Maine.  We had a cottage overlooking Acadia National Park and seals swimming in the waters there!

 

7. What is your favorite book? (Can be a kid’s book or an adult book)

 

My favorite children’s book is Charlotte’s Web.  I had the chance to visit the Blue Hill Fairground where Wilbur won his ribbon. I think the book is a fine example of how we can all encourage each other in positive ways!

 

8. What is one piece of advice you’d like to pass along to the students in your school?

 

Learning does not take place without practice.  We need to experience new information many times before a connection is made in our brain.  Do not give up, it is worth the effort!
Categories: Allendale Elementary Schools, Allendale Public Schools | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment
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