MHS Welcomes New Assistant Principal
As Shravya Sunkugari, freshman, walked through the lobby doors on the first day of school, along with 646 other freshmen, she was prepared to get to know a new school as a high school student.
But it wasn’t only freshmen beginning their journeys at MHS.
On the same day, Freshman Principal Keena Moore began her first school day as part of the administrative staff. At the June 6 Rockwood School Board meeting, members approved Moore as Assistant Principal.
Prior to coming to MHS, Moore had 16 years of experience in education. Moore began her career as an English teacher at Hazelwood East High School. Afterward, she worked at Sumner High School for four years as an assistant principal before working for four years at Riverview Gardens High School as an assistant principal.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the school community,” Moore said. “I don’t want to come in and make a lot of changes. I just want to be a part of MHS. You guys are already doing so many great things and I just want to get to know what you are doing well and learn how I can help.”
Moore said one of her goals this year is to help increase diversity among the staff. She hopes to set a good example through her work in order to show what diversity can do among the staff, as well as bring a new perspective from her experiences.
“I hope to bring in some of the things I’ve learned in the different settings where I’ve worked,” Moore said. “Sometimes being good is the enemy to becoming great, so bringing in some of the things I’ve done in other districts that have been struggling to get where you guys already are may help us get to another level.”
With 2406 total students enrolled at MHS, Moore said the most challenging aspect of the job has been getting to know names in such a large school because she meets so many new people every day. Coming from smaller schools, Moore said it was easier to get to know people.
“The most rewarding thing has been being part of the administrative team – everyone has been so welcoming and helpful,” Moore said. “I know that I’m part of a really strong structure and whatever challenges we face as a team, we’ll be able to overcome.”
Principal Dr. Steve Hankins said while Moore is an experienced and skilled administrator, one of the biggest strengths she brings to MHS is her personality.
“She’s so great with kids – she’s so kind and personable,” Dr. Hankins said. “I already see kids just locking to her so I think that’s definitely a great addition to our staff.”
This year, Dr. Hankins said one of the administrative team’s main focuses is student engagement, in which the administration helps teachers get resources needed to make classes more engaging. Additionally, Dr. Hankins said the school is focusing on fostering a welcoming environment and the overall support of students and staff.
“Every school year is always busy with new students and new things,” Dr. Hankins said. “I’m looking forward to establishing a sense of routine, which takes time and takes what we’re doing right now as we’re getting suggestions and adjusting things as we go.”
Dr. Hankins said he appreciates that Moore previously worked at a different district because she brings an outside perspective that can provide new ideas and new energy to the administrative team and the school.
“She is a very outgoing person already, but it would be great for students to just walk up and introduce themselves,” Dr. Hankins said. “She is really trying to immerse herself in MHS and is already doing a great job.”
Sunkugari said she appreciates how the principals care about what is going on with students in the school, as well as how they interact with students rather than staying behind their office doors.
Sunkugari said Moore helps contribute to her sense of community within high school, and she is excited to grow with both her peers and the staff over the next four years.
“We met Moore at the freshmen assembly and she was talking about how most people don’t really like freshman, but she was like ‘Freshman are awesome!’ so I really liked her for that,” Sunkugari said. “I think she’s super nice and she definitely knew what she was talking about.”
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