Head of the Class

. December 31, 2014.
HOC_feat


Meet the people behind the scenes of providing the tools your children need to succeed in the classroom. Principals, superintendents, teachers and educational leaders share what their visions and inspirations are.

 

Mike Savona
Principal

St. John’s Jesuit Academy
5901 Airport Hwy, Toledo
419-865-5743
www.sjjtitans.org

What is your vision/mission for the school?

At St. John’s Jesuit Academy, we are challenged to build the foundation for future success, utilizing the framework for the Jesuit Graduate at Graduation, which includes being religious, loving, intellectually competent, open to growth and committed to doing justice. Graduates of our Academy have a significant head start in moving toward the accomplishment of these five goals. Our hope is that each day our students look forward to being challenged and know that they are going to have a lot of fun along the way.

What inspires you everyday?

Each day as I walk the halls of St. John’s Jesuit Academy, the energy of the students and staff can be felt, providing a powerful inspiration for me to duplicate that feeling for others. The unique relationships between the staff and students is one of high expectations for each other, a willingness to take risks, and the combination of “work hard, play hard.” Everything that we do is encompassed within being ‘Men for Others’ and for the ‘Greater Glory of God.’
 

St. John’s Jesuit High School & Academy is a Catholic school in the Jesuit tradition for young men in grades 6-12.

 

Gary Boehm
Head of School

Maumee Valley Country Day School
1715 S. Reynolds Rd., Toledo
419-381-1313
www.mvcds.org

What is your vision/mission for the school?

Maumee Valley Country Day School’s mission is to enable students to become enlightened, compassionate and contributing citizens of our global community, while preparing graduates for their best opportunities in higher education.

What inspires you every day?

My inspiration comes first from the students. My interaction with them reminds me why my work as an educator is critically important. Each student has a unique set of talents and a special story to tell. I’m inspired by their curiosity, their compassion for one another, and by their determination to make the world a better place. I’m also inspired by my colleagues– their creativity and passion make my job so much easier. Finally, I’m inspired by our alumni and our families who always remind me what a special place MVCDS is.

How did you become interested in becoming an educational leader?

I loved my work as a classroom teacher but was motivated to broaden my influence. I’m excited by new ideas and I love the challenge of leadership.

What do you think is the future of careers in this field?

There has never been a more exciting time to be in education. We know so much more about how children learn and we have many more tools for personalizing the experience. Because information is available to students anytime and anywhere, the role of the teacher is changing from a primary role of direct instruction to curators of student learning. Teachers will function more as expert learners who will help organize collaborative learning experiences and help connect students to the resources they need.
 

Maumee Valley Country Day School is an independent and non-religious private school serving students in preschool through grade 12.

 

Mrs. Wendie Cuckler
Principal

Bowling Green Christian Academy
1165 Haskins Rd., Bowling Green
419-354-2422
17360 N. Dixie Hwy, Bowling Green
419-353-1808
www.bgchristian.org

What is your vision/mission for the school?

To provide an excellent education and a loving Christian atmosphere that allows our students to grow in their relationship with God and others, and to become leaders who will impact their communities.

What inspires you every day?

My walk with Christ. I view the world through my understanding of the Word of God and the desire to please Him in everything that I do.

How did you become interested in becoming an educational leader?

In college, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life. Through various classes and much soul searching, I ended up in education. I had the wonderful opportunity to work at a Christian school which led me to become the principal at the Academy. I have loved my position because it has given me an opportunity to be around students and to share my Christian faith.

What do you think is the future of careers in this field?

Having the opportunity to work in a private Christian school has given me the very best experience in education. I would encourage young people to follow their passions and do what they feel called to do because this is where they will find great fulfillment in life.
 

Bowling Green Christian Academy is an interdenominational, Pre-K-12, state certified, non-public school.

 
Jacqueline Jacoby
Assistant School Leader
Hope Learning Academy
4234 Monroe St., Toledo
419-297-6313
www.hopelearningacademy.org

What inspires you every day?

Hope Learning Academy has made me a better person. I am inspired and constantly learning from our students. They fill the halls with laughter, great ideas and a desire to learn.

How did you become interested in becoming an educational leader?

These same qualities are what have created my interest in becoming an educational leader. Each and every student fuels me to become a better leader, which in turn will make for a better school.

What do you think is the future of careers in this field?

I believe that as all educational leaders continue to grow and learn, the future in this career is bright. I am proud of my job and proud to be a part of the Hope Learning Academy family.
 

HOPE Learning Academy of Toledo is dedicated to serving K-8 students who need to learn in a non-traditional classroom setting.

 

Nate Preston
Principal

Winterfield Venture Academy
305 Wenz Rd., Toledo
419-531-3285
www.nhaschools.com/schools/winterfield

What is your vision/mission for the school?

Our mission is to close the achievement gap and to open opportunities for all children to reach their fullest potential by developing meaningful partnerships with our families and community.

What inspires you every day?

I am moved and inspired every single day by the people I get to work with and serve, including the staff, students, and families, who I call family.

How did you become interested in becoming an educational leader?

After my first teaching experience in rural Arizona, I became aware of the immense need that exists throughout our country. I also experienced for the first time the hope, support, and community that schools can provide and am a firm believer that schools are one of, if not the most, powerful influencers in our society.

What do you think is the future of careers in this field?

Education is facing a variety of changes and expectations including an elevation of expectations for our students, teachers, and schools in the increasingly global market. Finding the balance between preparing our students for a global competitive market while being grounded in their local communities will continue to challenge educational leaders for many years to come.
 

Winterfield Venture Academy, operated by National Heritage Academies, is a free public charter school serving students in grades K-8.

 

Tom Shafer
Superintendent

Maritime Academy
803 Water St., Toledo
419-244-9999
www.maritimeacademy.us

What is your vision/mission for the school?

Our mission is to continue building a strong, individualized, national core standards-based, college-prep or school-to-work education which integrates nautical /maritime themes across all subject areas for our cadets.

What inspires you every day?

The students inspire me in many ways. They come here for guidance and to discover what their path in life may be. The parents inspire me because they want the absolute best for their children and do whatever it takes to help them become successful. My fellow administrators, teachers and other staff also inspire me because they hold these students to a high standard, but care deeply about them as people.

How did you become interested in becoming an educational leader?

I became interested in being an educational leader after several years of teaching and coaching. I felt I could impact more students if I became the building or district leader.

What do you think is the future of careers in this field?

Judging by the way things are going now, I feel we need a bigger emphasis on career tech education. More and more high school students are not pursuing a college education. There has to be a movement to educate them in career tech or the trades. We need more money and more emphasis on career tech fields.
 

The Academy is one of Northwest Ohio’s newest and most innovative tuition-free public schools using nautical themes to educate students in grades 5-12.

 
Lynn Fisher
Head of School
West Side Montessori
13587 Roachton Rd., Perrysburg, 419-874-9385
7115 W. Bancroft St., Toledo, 419-866-1931
www.montessoritoledo.org

What is your vision/mission for the school?

To create a learning environment where adults and children can become their best selves. At West Side Montessori, passionate, dedicated teachers set high expectations and collaborate with parents to support and encourage every child.

What inspires you every day?

The children. On Monday, a father watching toddlers through a one-way window asked if I see the same thing repeatedly or if I see something different each time I observe. Both, I answered. In each class, tiny children are working industriously but their individual choices reveal their personalities. Just this week a mother caught me in the parking lot to share how her nine-year-old daughter compared the twisting shape of the scarf she is knitting to DNA. Another elementary student responded to my observation about the early morning full moon: “Yes, it’s a waxing gibbus.”

How did you become interested in becoming an educational leader?

Like many private school leaders my career path was not direct. I was inspired to start West Side Montessori almost 40 years ago by my own two sons. As the Head of a private school, I have the flexibility to continuously collaborate and create a joyous place to work.
 

West Side Montessori is a private school for K-8 and is the only Toledo-area Montessori school accredited by the American Montessori Society.

 

Carol Lindsley
Associate Principal

St. Joseph School
5411 Main St., Sylvania
419-882-6670
www.stjosephschoolsylvania.org

What is your vision/mission for the school?

St. Joseph School is a school dedicated to Catholic faith formation and academic excellence. Each and every day, we strive to call forth the unique potential of the whole child, spiritually, academically, emotionally and physically.

What inspires you every day?

My husband and my own four children have always been the center of my life, but I seem to be driven from the inside. I get up each day looking forward to what the day will bring. I am in my first year as assistant principal, but I first was a parent here, then P.T.O. president, and spent 19 years as a third grade teacher, so I’m in my element.

How did you become interested in becoming an educational leader?

I have always been impressed with our principal of 29 years, Sally Koppinger. I have worked with her over the last 26 years and I’ve always been struck by her wisdom and professionalism.

What do you think is the future of careers in this field?

Change is already in motion in the colleges of education. A collaboration between colleagues, co-teaching and sharing through professional learning communities (P.L.C.s), plus online professional development, allows teachers to never again be “an island unto themselves.”
 

St. Joseph School, a ministry of St. Joseph Parish, serves students in grades K-8 and is dedicated to Catholic faith formation and academic excellence.