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Looking ahead with optimism and positivity

Meet Your Administrators: Whitley Morse and Trent Chambliss

WyomingNew assistant principals are getting to know the students at Wyoming Junior High and Wyoming High School. SNN gets to know them in this edition of Meet Your Administrators.

Name: Whitley Morse

School: Wyoming Junior High School

Other positions you have held in education: Assistant principal at Forest Hills Central High School; assistant principal at Ottawa Hills High School; social studies teacher within Grand Rapids Public Schools (Ottawa Hills High School, Gerald R. Ford Middle School, and Creston High School).

How about jobs outside education? Typical jobs – summer camps, daycares, and nannying.

Education/degrees: Grand Valley State University, Bachelor’s degree,  social studies major and psychology minor; Davenport University, master’s in urban education; Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, Educational Leadership Certification.

Spouse/children: Husband, Dan Morse, principal at North Park Montessori School in Grand Rapids Public Schools; daughter, Geneva Grace (2 years old in November).

Hobbies/Interests/little-known talent: I love adventuring outside, exploring to see what we can find. We have a goal to visit all the state and national parks. It’s been fun to visit the same places, but now with Geneva — to see the world through her eyes! It has helped me better step back to view the world through other perspectives. 

Whitley Morse was a child who loved school (courtesy)

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school (your personality, interests, hobbies, activities)? I absolutely loved school! I would bring home extra handouts and request school supplies for Christmas, only to force my cousins into “playing school” with me. They hated it. I was without a doubt the teacher’s pet, always looking for ways to help and trying to work ahead – little did I know how things would come full circle.

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… Every day is a new day – start fresh and be ready to move forward in a positive direction.

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to grade ? because… I would probably go back to ninth grade; the awkwardness of middle school was fading away, but the reality of high school and the real world hadn’t quite hit yet. Everything was exciting and new! We finally had some decisions in the courses we were taking, and my sports would quickly take over. 

If you walked into your new school building to theme music by a favorite artist or band, what would it be? “Try Everything” by Shakira.

Trent Chambliss has recently spent time exploring Michigan

Name: Trent Chambliss

School: Wyoming High School

Other positions you have held in education: I spent the last seven years at South Bend Community School Corporation as an assistant principal. Prior to that, I was at Forest Hills Northern as a school liaison.

How about jobs outside education? I teach drivers’ education for Jungle Survival Drivers Training, in Ada. I take that very seriously! I have also coached basketball, bowling, football, and track and field at the secondary level at Forest Hills Public Schools.

Trent Chambliss is the new Wyoming High School assistant principal

Education/degrees: I am a proud United States Navy veteran. I received my bachelor’s in business administration and master’s in educational leadership from Cornerstone University. 

Spouse/children: My son Tyler is a 2009 graduate and my son Trinidad is a 2021 graduate of Forest Hills Northern.

Hobbies/Interests/little-known talent: I love to golf in my spare time and I really like to network and socialize. I’m trying to venture out and do some other things I’ve never done before. It just dawned on me in the last few years all the great things we have in Michigan. I’m not really an outdoors person, but I’m getting out of my bubble and exploring.

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school (your personality, interests, hobbies, activities)? I was outgoing, very social. I liked to hear people’s stories from all walks of life from an early age. Intrigued is a good word. I was always trying to figure out and understand things. I played baseball, track and field and football and liked social time with friends.

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… Man, there have been a lot over the years! One is that if we can’t help others, then why are we here? Also, none of us knows anything unless we are taught. We are in a position to see things that parents don’t even recognize for the first time — those “aha” moments.

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to grade ? because… Third grade. It was just awesome for me. I think it was the independence. It was a time when we could play Little League on our own. We were learning stuff and we had a couple grades underneath us.That is one of the most joyous times I can identify.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music by a favorite artist or band, what would it be? “Optimistic” by Sounds of Blackness. When I came for the interview for this position I played this song. When I left, I felt so good, I played this song. It talks about the challenges we have in life. It’s inspirational and encouraging for all.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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