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Baton twirler, flautist wants to make students’ days

Meet your administrator: Kristy Loughin-Vance

Forest HillsKristy Loughin-Vance is the new assistant principal at Forest Hills Central High School. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Administrator. 

Other positions you have held in education:

  • 7th and 8th teacher, performance and fine arts, Gemini Junior High School, Niles, Illinois 
  • English teacher, William Fremd High School and Hoffman Estates High School, suburban Chicago 

What about jobs outside of education? Loughin-Vance had a college internship at Disney World and served up cobbler and cappuccinos in various park locations. In addition to barista and baking skills, she learned how Disney’s “make their day” philosophy helps make the moment better for park goers – and later, for students. 

“A ‘no, but’ response means even if we can’t do what someone wants, I look for what we can do,” she said. 

Education/degrees

  • Bachelor’s degree, educational speech communication and dramatic arts with an English minor, Central Michigan University
  • Master’s degree, interpersonal and public communication, Central Michigan University
  • Master’s degree, educational leadership, Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois

Family: Husband, Mike, is a PE and health teacher in Montcalm County; three children ages 10, 7 and 5.

Hobbies/interests/talents: “When I was younger I was a baton twirler. I still play the flute to de-stress. My family and I love taking walks and are excited to explore more of the North Country Trail.”

Kristy Loughin-Vance (front center) marches in fourth grade with other Bonnie Blue Bells twirlers (courtesy)

What were you like as a student? “I was a little shy when I was young, but I had some amazing teachers who challenged me and helped me find my voice. I loved division day in fourth grade: parents and family members hosted tables and would walk our group through a division problem based on their job. It was cool to see math in everyday jobs and awesome that our community was helping us learn.”

‘A ‘no….but’ response means even if we can’t do what someone wants, I look for what we can do.’

– Kristy Loughin-Vance, Central High assistant principal 

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is…. “…that although we like consistency, we need to stay open to new ideas, question why things are done the way they are and keep trying new ideas.” 

As a student, Loughin-Vance said she had a family and (Greenville, Michigan) community that put opportunities in front of her and helped her do things that she didn’t think she could do. 

She said her motto is: “I’m not doing my best until I help you do your best.”

Loughin-Vance’s family lift each other up in a hand huddle as a new school year begins (courtesy)

If you could go back to school, what grade would you choose and why? “I’d go back to eighth grade. My (lifelong) friend group had just started forming, I was loving band and show choir, my social studies teacher had gotten me involved in Student Council and I was gaining some much-needed confidence.”

If you walked into your new school building to theme music that suits your personality, what would the song be, and why? “Mandisa’s ‘Good Morning’,” because it’s upbeat and says that ‘hey, this is going to be a good day – we’re going to make it that way.’”

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Carol Lautenbach
Carol Lautenbach
Carol Jasperse Lautenbach served in many roles during her 29 years in Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, most recently as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning design, a role she retired from in 2021. She is co-author of “Making Schools Work: Bringing the science of learning to joyful classroom practice” and has written for The Alan Review, The Rapidian, and Midwest Living. She was honored to be appointed to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's 2021 Student Recovery Advisory Council’s Innovation and Redesign subcommittee. Carol is inspired by the students, educators, families, community partners, cultural institutions, and philanthropists who work together to design and build joyful, equitable learning communities.

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