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.
St. John’s Jesuit Academy
5901 Airport Hwy, Toledo
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.
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.’
Head of School
Maumee Valley Country Day School
1715 S. Reynolds Rd., Toledo
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bowling Green Christian Academy
1165 Haskins Rd., Bowling Green
17360 N. Dixie Hwy, Bowling Green
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.
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.
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.
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.
Assistant School Leader
Hope Learning Academy
4234 Monroe St., Toledo
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.
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.
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.
Winterfield Venture Academy
305 Wenz Rd., Toledo
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.
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.
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.
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.
803 Water St., Toledo
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head of School
West Side Montessori
13587 Roachton Rd., Perrysburg, 419-874-9385
7115 W. Bancroft St., Toledo, 419-866-1931
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.
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.”
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.
St. Joseph School
5411 Main St., Sylvania
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.
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.
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.
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.”