This School Leader Loves Musical Theatre, Sunsets and Chocolate

School: Aberdeen Elementary

What are your first priorities as principal? To strengthen a sense of community within the building for students, staff and families; work with the staff to create strong procedures and routines to ensure student safety and academic success; and establish effective parent engagement opportunities.

What are you most looking forward to? Working together with my staff to increase academic achievement and enrollment, and getting to know all of my students and their families.

What and where was your previous job? Instructional consultant for Vicksburg Community Schools, Sunset Lake Elementary School, 16 years.

Other positions you have held in education: Vicksburg Community Schools, elementary and middle school teacher; Frederick Nerge Elementary School in Schaumburg, Illinois, first- and second-grade teacher; adjunct professor at Western Michigan University.

♥How about jobs outside education? My first job was at Sheldon Dry Cleaners. I accidentally left a pen in the pocket of a men’s white dress shirt. My first day was also my last day!

College degrees? Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Drake University; Master’s in Educational Administration, Northern Illinois University.

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at your new school? When I was in elementary, middle and high school, I was very active in musical theater. I performed at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Spectrum Theater and Circle Theatre. I attended East Grand Rapids High School, where I was a member of the choir, glee club and Madrigal program.

Any children? My 15-year-old son, Jake, is a high-school freshman who plays football, basketball, wrestling and lacrosse. (Jake and I share the same birthday!)

What are some hobbies and interests? Musical theater, singing, spending time on Lake Michigan, watching sunsets, attending my son’s sporting events and spending time with family and close friends.

What is one of your favorite movies, and why do you like it so much? The original “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” As a child, I was able to identify with each one of the main characters in the movie, and I LOVE chocolate!

What would people be surprised to learn about you? I took a real estate class this summer and I am in the process of getting my real estate license.

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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