As third lunch approached, students and teachers lined up along the second and third floor balconies.There were balloons, handshakes and cake to celebrate Dr. Mathison winning the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals (MOASSP) award.
On Feb. 13, Clark Mershon, Missouri Assistant of Secondary School Principals, presented Dr. Mathison with the award. Mershon has known Dr. Mathison for a little more than two years and said he was the best candidate for the MOASSP award.
“When the selection committee met on Jan. 25 in Columbia. Mo., Dr. Mathison, hands down, finished at the top,” Mershon said. “He represents the ideals of exemplary school leadership at the high schools.”
Mershon said as the winner of the award, Dr. Mathison represents more than 900 principals across the state of Missouri.
He also said the award is very prestigious and remains one of the highest honors a Missouri principal can receive.
“Dr. Mathison is great about relationships and values student voice,” Mershon said. “He truly seeks out for student input and I think he creates solid relationships with his staff. Not every principal is that.”
Dr. Mathison said he was honored to win the MOASSP award but truly believes it is an award for the community.
“I believe the award is a reflection of our school,” Dr. Mathison said. “We have amazing teachers, a great staff and students who push us. To me, the award is a reflection of our community and our community is fantastic.”
In the upcoming year, the MHS will face many changes such as a new superintendent and a change in schedule linked to flex time.
Dr. Mathison said despite the changes, Rockwood’s mission to serve the students as best they can will never change.
“We will continue to focus on students,” Dr. Mathison said. “Change is one thing but our focus will never change.
Dr. Greg Mathison Sr., Dr. Mathison’s father, flew in from Florida to witness his son receive the MOASSP.
Prior to living in Florida, Dr. Mathison Sr. worked for the State of Missouri with children who had mental disabilities. Last year, he planned a surprise visit for his son.
“I walked into Marquette and experienced my son receiving high fives from the kids with special needs in the corner,” Dr. Mathison Sr. said. “For me that was a game changer.”
Dr. Mathison Sr. said it moments like these that ensures his son deserved the award. He said that every person should have a mentor and he was very pleased to see so many students and faculty members there to witness the award.
“No one is the product of themselves as we are all shape by the people around us,” Dr. Mathison Sr. said. “I teach graduate classes and I always tell people to give back but always have people who are going to support you throughout all of your life.”
And, Dr. Mathison Jr. has been shaped and supported by his father.
“My dad is my hero and a mentor for me. He is truly amazing,” Dr. Mathison Jr. said.