By Noelle Mentch, Current Staff
They might be new to the school, but that doesn’t mean they are new to the game.
The West Bend High Schools welcomed three new administrators this year. East High has added John Graf as its new principal and Zachary Daniels as an assistant principal. On the flip side, West High has gained Michelle Marschel as an assistant principal. Two of them are already well-acquainted with the school district, but all three have plans to help students.
Graf worked as the principal at Green Tree Elementary School for the last three years. Daniels worked at Badger Middle School for the past six years, three years as a seventh grade language arts teacher and three years as the student services coordinator, also known as the dean of students.
Only Marschel is new to the district. For the last five years, she was the curriculum coordinator at Salem Grade School in Kenosha County.
All of the new administrators arrive at WBHS with a primary focus on students.
“I wanted to come up here to see kids as they finish their time in our district,” Daniels said. “I spent a lot of my time, actually most of my time at the middle school level so far, but there’s a lot more opportunities and things for students up here, a lot more going on, a larger school. It’s really a place I thought I could grow my leadership.”
Like Daniels, Graf highlighted the opportunities at the school as a reason to join the administrative team.
“I was really excited when the opportunity came about,” Graf said. “I love working at the high school level. It’s like a mini community and it has a lot of opportunities.”
The new members of the administration have set many goals for the school year.
Marschel, who has been put on the team for the college and career center, plans to find ways to help students find careers that they actively care about and are excited to pursue.
“I’m excited about the idea of helping channel students’ passions and aptitudes into a good career pathway, because I think that that’s what makes visionaries in the field,” Marschel said. “That’s what makes the Elton Browns, that’s what makes the Einsteins, that’s what makes the Mozarts. When you’re good at something and you love it, then you take it to the next level.”
As the administrative member that deals the most with the data, Marschel hopes to use that information to better the experiences of the students.
“I’m excited about channeling students’ passions and aptitudes into a good career pathway, because that’s what makes visionaries in the field.”
– Michelle Marschel, West assistant principal
For Daniels, he wants to get to know the high school better, in individual aspects and as a whole.
“As a faculty member, one of my number one goals here is getting to know everyone, kind of the culture, how things work and operate here,” Daniels said. “Learning the staff is important, because I don’t know a ton of people up here.”
Daniels also works with the Compass Team and hopes to focus on impacting things in a positive way.
Graf hopes to continue making WBHS a beneficial environment for both the students and the faculty.
“Our partnership (will create) that welcoming environment and the environment that when you graduate next year, you can (proudly) say, ‘I graduated from West Bend High School,’” Graf said. “I think that’s the most exciting thing and the goal that we can create, that you leave here with pride.”
Most importantly, Graf wants to provide students opportunities that allow them to be college or career ready.
The new administration is also looking toward positively impacting the lives of students this year.
“I mostly want students to feel good about themselves when they leave each day,” Graf said. “I want them to get the best academic, social and emotional opportunities as possible.”
Marschel hopes that students try to get the most out of their high school experiences.
“What I really want more is to inspire students to have that same, ‘I want to go and do this, and I don’t know what’s going to come out of it but I’m going to get the most out of it,’” Marschel said.
West principal Ralph Schlass is excited for the changes that the new administration will bring to WBHS.
“I get to work with different people and we get to continue the best of what we have in place so then those things that maybe we should reevaluate, the new people bring a different and fresh perspective,” Schlass said.