Home Court Advantage: MHS Teachers Fill Principal Positions

Amy+Sturges%2C+freshman+principal%2C+speaks+to+the+Freshmen+Class+during+an+MCrew+meeting+on+September+28th.+

Media by Willem Hummel

Amy Sturges, freshman principal, speaks to the Freshmen Class during an MCrew meeting on September 28th.

Rusty Willis, junior, was in Kyle Devine’s Honors Biology class during his freshman year. This year Devine has taken the role of freshman principal.

“He was very good at answering questions and making sure we actually understood the material instead of just memorizing things,” Willis said. “He had a lot of very frequent small quizzes, that way he could figure out where you were with the content.”

Willis said Devine was firm and clear, which he thinks would line up with leadership qualities very well.

“I think he was a great pick honestly, he knows Marquette well, he’s been here for a while, he’s a good teacher,” Willis said. “That’s the one negative, he’s a good teacher so now students aren’t being taught by him anymore.”

I think he was a great pick honestly, he knows Marquette well, he’s been here for a while, he’s a good teacher. That’s the one negative, he’s a good teacher so now students aren’t being taught by him anymore.”

— Rusty Willis

Devine is one of 6 principals that previously taught at MHS. Dr. Hankins, and Starling were both social studies teachers, Dr. Regina was a language arts teacher, and Sturges was a math teacher.

Freshman Principal Kyle Devine taught science before stepping into the job of principal.

“My office handles facilities, safety, security, so you kind of see the bigger picture of the things that are going on in the building rather than being a teacher,” Devine said.

Devine said his relationships with the students have changed along with his job.

“I used to coach as well and I kind of had a more personalized relationship with kids,” Devine said. “Getting to try and know all the 500 freshmen is going to be a task over the next four years.”

Devine said his experience as a teacher has made the process of switching over to an administrative role much easier.

“Knowing who I can go to for a lot of different things has made my process of switching over a lot easier,” Devine said. “Ms. Costa is the secretary that Mr. Hudson also used to have, and having her and her knowledge that she has, and knowing that she has that knowledge is really helpful.

Amy Sturges assistant principal said it makes sense MHS would move its own teachers into leadership positions because teachers know how the school works already, allowing for easier transition.

Sturges worked in the math department for eight years before becoming an assistant principal.

“Since I taught here, I know the things that our student body has gone through over the last couple of years, how we dealt with anything and everything in the last eight years,” Sturges said. “That’s not something you can teach to someone coming in.”

Since I taught here, I know the things that our student body has gone through over the last couple of years, how we dealt with anything and everything in the last eight years. That’s not something you can teach to someone coming in.”

— Amy Sturges

Sturges said she is enjoying the transition to a leadership role in the building.

“I’ve always loved MHS, so I knew I wanted to stay here,” Sturges said.

Sturges said MHS has a unique sense of community that isn’t present in every school building.

“Staff are there for the needs of our kids, for the needs of each other. We’re almost like a family unit,” Sturges said.

Sturges said she will miss the daily interaction with students, but as assistant principal, she is able to interact with a broader range of students.

“It’s just a different job,” Sturges said. “I’m going from planning lessons and grading papers to dealing with some of the background.”

Associate Principal Dr. Tracey Waeckerle said she was an MHS math teacher previously.

“I got to go in and watch Spanish lessons or French lessons, and that was something I had never had an opportunity to do as a teacher,” Dr. Waeckerle said.

Dr. Waeckerle said a big adjustment was from working with 120 kids who she could get to know very well, to trying to get to know and connect with all the kids that she interacts with as a principal.

“Teachers put a lot of time in, too. It’s just a little different because they are a lot of times doing the work on their own time, whereas administrators a lot of the time put the time in out at school events,” Dr. Waeckerle said. “Just making sure that we are being supportive of all of our different groups.”

Dr. Waeckerle said she has learned time management and organization from her years of being an administrator.

“It’s a busy place, we have a lot of jobs around this building, so making sure we are prioritizing the needs of the building and the needs of the students, and making sure that we are doing what we need to do to have marquette ready for our kids every day,” Waeckerle said.