Nate Robrahn is the new Kenowa Hills High School principal. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Principal.
Nate Robrahn said coming back to his alma mater wasn’t really on his radar.
“Probably 10 years ago I would have said, ‘Nah, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Kenowa Hills,’ but more recently, I said, ‘It’d be kind of fun to maybe finish there,’” Robrahn explained. “Interestingly enough, my wife (Jane) had the opportunity to go back to her school. She now teaches in Grandville where she graduated, and it’s been real powerful for her. Same deal for me. This has really been a good experience.
“When we grew up, my parents had opportunities to go somewhere else and they said they were going to stay at Kenowa because it was good for our family. Now I feel some of that. There is that pride of this is where I started.”
Robrahn said he wasn’t drawn to Kenowa Hills just because he went to school there, but also because they teach using personal mastery and competency-based education.
“I was blessed enough to be in Caledonia, where we did some of that work 25 or 30 years ago.”
Other positions you have held in education:
- Principal at Wyoming High School
- Superintendent at Montague Area Public Schools
- Principal at Zeeland High School and Zeeland East High School
- Teacher and assistant principal at Caledonia High School
- Middle school teacher at Holland Public Schools
- Bachelor’s degree and teacher certification from Hope College
- Master’s degree in education and administrative certification from Grand Valley State University
Jobs outside education:
For a time, early in my teaching career, I also sold shoes at Gazelle Sports and really learned a lot and enjoyed the interaction with customers. My first job was working at the Meijer headquarters (Grand Rapids) in the catering department, where I learned how to clean a chicken and make huge amounts of mashed potatoes.
Spouse/children: Jane (spouse), works at Grandville High School as an English teacher, and children Max, Greta and Annika
Hobbies/Interests: I do enjoy the water and spending time on our boat up north. I also enjoy yoga to stay centered.
What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? I enjoyed my time at Kenowa and am really proud to be back. I worked hard enough and had a great time with friends.
The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… Young people really want to make a difference in this world. They do a better job of listening to learn and caring about other individuals.
If I could go back to school, I would probably go back to 10th grade and really work at school and put in some extra effort. But I’m pretty happy where I am right now.
If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? This is one of my favorite questions; lots of options here. “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC or “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Burde said Robrahn has been a great addition to the district and the community.
“He has transitioned nicely to our high school learning community and is forming relationships with students, staff and families,” Burde said. “I have also appreciated his innovative thinking about our programs and how we can continue to push forward with a continuous improvement mindset. We are beyond excited to have Mr. Robrahn on our team at Kenowa Hills.”