Dr. Waeckerle Named New Head Principal


Media by Cassie Sun

Associate Principal Dr. Tracey Waeckerle has been named head principal for the 2023-2024 school year.

Associate Principal Dr. Tracey Waeckerle has been named head principal for the 2023-2024 school year. This move comes after Dr. Stephen Hankin, incumbent principal, accepted the assistant superintendent of student services position at the district level.

Dr. Waeckerle has worked at MHS since 2008. She started as a social studies teacher, teaching world history, government, psychology, and AP Psychology throughout her nine years teaching in the school. She also served as the PLC lead for the social studies department and even had a role in the school musical “Legally Blonde.”

Dr. Waeckerle said that halfway through her teaching career is when she started her degree in administration.

“I knew I wanted to be an assistant principal at that time. That was the most immediate goal,” Dr. Waeckerle said. “I knew probably at some point, I would get to this position [head principal].”

Dr. Waeckerle said that being a teacher for nearly a decade helped her transition easily to her administrative role.

“I was able to work really, really closely with students as a teacher, building really good relationships,” Dr. Waeckerle said. “It helped me establish the understanding of what it is to be a Marquette student. And I think that has helped me move forward in my role.”

Dr. Waeckerle hopes that as principal, she will be able to further strengthen the bond between MHS and the community and restore what was lost during COVID.

“It’s been a slow process to try to rebuild that [community],” Dr. Waeckerle said. “And I hope to continue on that path, both with the staff community but also with the student body community.”

Dr. Hankins said the process of selecting Dr. Waeckerle to be his successor was determined by both Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain and the Board of Education.

Dr. Hankins said Dr. Waeckerle makes good decisions and has a good view of the big picture.

“She gets stuff done,” Dr. Hankins said. “You give her a job or task, she is highly organized, well thought out, communicates well, can see possible hurdles on the horizon and prepare for those. She makes decisions to avoid those possible obstacles in the future.”

Dr. Hankins said the biggest piece of advice he would give to Dr. Waeckerle upon starting her new role is to find time to step back and have trust within the system around her.

“You’re gonna have to find times to break away,” Dr. Hankins said. “It is seven days a week, twenty-four hours at a time. Delegate when you can and just trust in the people you have. We’ve got an incredible school with a great admin team. They can take stuff and run with it and they do an awesome job.”

Jason George, Junior Class vice president, said he hopes there are more events that bring the community together under Dr. Waeckerle’s leadership.

“Honestly, I feel like the spirit’s been going down, especially since after COVID,” George said. “Hopefully we can get that back up and everyone starts popping out to more spirit events and we all just really show our team spirits here at Marquette.”