Too Many Turnovers

2016.02.04_Greymont

The class of 2017 has witnessed a high rate of administrative change

By Maggie Kieser, Current Staff

Starting in the fall, current WBHS juniors will meet their third head principal.

Principal Bill Greymont announced his resignation on Jan. 22, effective at the end of the school year. Greymont became head principal just before the start of the 2014-15 school year, replacing Jim Curler, who left for an administrative position in Slinger. The West Bend School District will now begin searching for another head principal.

For juniors, the new hire will mark their third principal in four years. In addition, four of the five other high school administrators have two or fewer years of service at WBHS.

How does this rotation in leadership affect the class of 2017?

East junior Taylor Kintopf has felt the effects of the changes around the school. “I feel the frequent changing of principals has made the school kind of hectic,” Kintopf said. “It makes things stressful when they keep changing the rules and adding new requirements. It gets confusing trying to keep up with what we can and cannot do anymore.”

West junior Kara Conley noted how her perception of school has changed as a result of the principal changes. “The constant change of principals has left me unknowing what to expect for the coming school year. I feel as though because our administration lacks stability, so does our school,” Conley said.

The head principal is commonly seen as the “face” of a school, but since the announcement of Greymont becoming head principal came so late last year, many students noted they had no idea what Greymont looked like, or who he was. Kintopf says that this undermined the relationship that students and parents normally have with the principal.

“I didn’t even know what [Greymont] looked like. I could recognize Mr. Curler anywhere, and he was very involved. This allowed for a much stronger relationship between students and parents with the administrators. I guess I don’t even really know who our administrators are,” Kintopf said.

Conley recalled the benefits of the two head principal system, one for East and one for West, which was in place when her sisters were in high school. “When my sisters went to high school, there were two different principals for East and West which helped give the school a face and a better flow within the system.”

“I feel the frequent changing of principals has made the school kind of hectic.”
– Taylor Kintopf, East junior

Greymont agrees that these changes can take a toll on the students. “My daughter also had three different administrators in four years,” he said.

That is why he decided to make this announcement now. “The school has to know now. Last year there was an inability to prepare. The school needs that time to prepare, so they can be successful,” Greymont said.

Since he was hired in August 2014, Greymont had a very short time to prepare for the role of head principal. He is hoping that by letting the district know about his resignation well in advance, the search process can start sooner, and the students and faculty will get a better chance to prepare for the new principal and get to know him or her better.

Greymont also reflected on the great memories he had at West Bend. “The last homecoming was phenomenal with all the spirit and the great pep rally. It is so great to watch this community come together. It is also amazing to see all the support in the community through the arts and athletics, volunteering, and student achievements. It is reflected in the scholarships given through COLUMNS,” he said.

Greymont had kind words to say about his overall experience at West Bend. “I am proud to be associated with a proud community that has great kids.”

Conley said that her expectation for the new principal is someone who “treats us like we are teenagers who may need some help, but ultimately strives to make school fun and exciting so we can grow and learn in a wonderful environment.”

Kintopf wants someone who “can stay more than one or two years so there can be a more stable learning environment.”

(Top image: Principal Bill Greymont works at his desk on Thursday morning. Photograph by Maggie Kieser, Current Staff.)

2016.02.04_Greymont2

Principal Bill Greymont takes a look at a video made by East social studies teacher Scott Mindel to honor the military service of WBHS graduates, faculty and staff. Photograph by Maggie Kieser, Current Staff.

2 Comments

Filed under School News and Features

2 responses to “Too Many Turnovers

  1. Terry Brace Krueger

    Excellent article. Thank you for writing so thoughtfully. Turnover is a serious issue here at the high school not just with administrators but with teachers as well. I’ve seen too many highly dedicated and caring teachers leave. We need to address whatever is at the bottom of all this dissatisfaction and make our schools truly great again.

  2. Mr. Zappia

    I appreciated Kara’s comment referring to when her sister’s were in school and we had to separate principal’s that gave each school an identity from each other. It’s difficult to get a new boss every two years! Thanks for the article, well done.

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