by Madison Marko – Head Photographer
Heidi Mauer will start her first year as a high school principal. She will be returning to the high school level after seven years of being a principal at Cedar Heights Middle School. Prior to that, she was the assistant principal at Kentwood for seven years.
Mauer said, “I love working with high school kids. I was really excited about a potential opportunity to be able to work with them again. I love the types of conversations that I get to have with students, and the idea that they are on the verge of adulthood. Being able to support the transition into life outside of high school is special.”
So far, Mauer has only made one change. She altered a safety protocol relating to medical emergencies in the classroom. The old protocol stated that if an emergency were to arise, the teacher would have to call the main office, and then the main office would call 911. But, now teachers should call 911 directly and send a student runner down to the office so that the emergency response team can be brought to the room.
Other than that, Mauer said she does not plan on making many changes. She said, “Right now it is important for me to learn about the strengths of the school and how to build upon those strengths. There are a lot of great things happening here, and we are not a school that needs a principal to come in and make a bunch of changes. We need a principal that can come in and continue to support the growth and the excellence that is already happening.”
As for her personal plans and goals as principal, Mauer said, “It is very important to me that I am available to students. I am not a closed-door principal. I want to be out and about, and I want students to know who I am and feel comfortable coming to me and saying, ‘Mrs. Mauer, I need help with something.’ If I do not have the answer, I will hook them up with someone who does. I want to be accessible not just to students, but to parents and staff, too. I want to be responsive to the needs of our community.”
She does recognize that there will be challenges in her position. Mauer said, “When we have such a diverse community, with so many belief, value, and cultural systems, sometimes that can be challenging to navigate. I want to channel that in a way that it brings us together and does not push us apart. I think that that is going to be a challenge and be something that we, as a community, need to navigate together. I need to be thoughtful about how I lead and support our community in embracing the diversity that can define us in such a positive way.”
Mauer said, “I want to reiterate to students that it is important for me to know from them what is working at Kentlake and what they would like to see changed. I want to encourage students to be the change that they want to see. If you have concerns about things, come work with me and let’s figure out how we can empower the student voice to continue to grow what we are doing here at Kentlake.”