Dr. Steve Hankins becomes new head principal of MHS


Media by Marta Mieze

Associate Principal Dr. Steve Hankins stands as Superintendent Dr. Knost recognizes him as the new MHS head principal at the April 11 Board of Education meeting. Dr. Hankins will assume his new position on July 31.

Associate Principal Steve Hankins said it’s always been a career goal of his to become head principal of MHS.

“I’m really happy to be in this position,” Dr. Hankins said. “But, right now, I need to focus on finishing out the school year.”

Dr. Hankins was confirmed at the April 11 Board of Education (BOE) meeting by Dr. Knost. He was informed that he would be recommended to the board for the position on April 8.

“It’s not really a done deal until the BOE approves you,” Dr. Hankins said. “I knew I was being recommended, and was told to come to the BOE meeting Thursday night, so I knew I had a pretty good shot at it happening.”

As head principal next year, Dr. Hankins said the biggest change, and therefore the biggest obstacle will be the institution of flex time into the schedule.

“I’m already working on getting flex time all ready,” Dr. Hankins said. “For next year, that’s the first priority, making sure it works for students, staff, and that’s really a whole lot of change right there. I want to make that as effective as we can, which takes time and feedback, but I feel like it’s going to very quickly become a benefit to the school.”

Ultimately, Dr. Hankins said he just wants to help the MHS community progress with the times during his time as head principal.

“This school never stops evolving in terms of what students need,” Dr. Hankins said. “What students needed 15 years ago is much different than what students need now, and I just want to make sure I’m always able to meet those needs.”

Principal Dr. Greg Mathison said he’s glad Dr. Hankins is the one taking over his position.

“I’m really excited for our school, our students, our community,” Dr. Mathison said. “Dr. Hankins has been a Mustang for a long time, as teacher, coach, assistant principal, associate principal, so he knows the ins and outs of the faculty and they know and trust him. They’ve got strong bonds already.”

Dr. Mathison and Dr. Hankins agree that the biggest change that Dr. Hankins will have to cope with is flex time, which will greatly impact how the school functions next year.

“It’s going to be almost like a huge experiment next year,” Dr. Mathison said. “Getting all the issues and kinks worked out is going to be a difficult process, but I have full confidence in Dr. Hankins.”

Ultimately, Dr. Mathison just wants to remind Dr. Hankins to be able to work with others and accept help in order for the school to function well.

“What you think is important in your first few years might not be what you think is important during those last few years,” Dr. Mathison said. “At the beginning, I know I always thought ‘If I want this done, I have to do it myself,’ and never accepted help. But with experience, I learned to utilize the talented people near me, and I know Dr. Hankins will be able to do that from the beginning.”

Erin Sullenger, social studies teacher, said the school is in good hands.

“I’ve known Dr. Hankins for as long as I’ve worked here,” Sullenger said. “So I’m very excited that he’s been chosen as the new principal.”

Because Dr. Hankins has been at MHS for so long and has worked closely with Dr. Mathison as a history teacher, assistant principal and associate principal, Sullenger doesn’t believe there will be a lot of changes.

However, Sullenger also said that flex time will be a huge change that she trusts Dr. Hankins to execute well.

“[Dr. Hankins] has proven his ability to work with our students and staff effectively,” Sullenger said. “I am looking forward to finding out how flex time will play out for next school year. There are many great possibilities for using this time productively to benefit both students and staff members.”