Rockford — Rachel DeKuiper is the new Rockford High School assistant principal covering 10th grade and the English department. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Administrator.
Other positions you’ve held in education:
- Elementary teacher in Rockford Public Schools at Cannonsburg (12 years), Meadow Ridge (7 years) and Lakes (2 years) elementary schools
- Instructional coach in Rockford Public Schools at Belmont, Parkside and Meadow Ridge elementary schools
How about jobs outside of education? “I was a softball umpire and a T-ball umpire. The pay was good, but getting hit by a softball hurts even if you’ve got all the padding and a face mask on. But I think the words of the spectators hurt even more because you’re going to miss some calls. But you get really good at yelling ‘Strike three! You’re outta there!’”
‘We’re here to prepare them academically, but we’re also here to prepare them for the next phase of their lives.’— Rachel DeKuiper, assistant principal, Rockford High School
- Bachelor’s in English and elementary education, Michigan State University
- Master’s of education in curriculum and teaching, Michigan State University
Family: “My husband, Ryan, is a teacher here. He teaches history and government. He also coaches basketball. I have a daughter at Calvin (University) as a freshman there playing basketball. I have a son who’s a sophomore here (at RHS) who plays football and basketball, and a freshman who plays basketball and soccer.”
What is the biggest lesson – or lessons – you’ve learned from students? “They’ve taught me to enjoy learning. When you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll learn more. And it’s okay to go off-script every once in a while with kids and just kind of be in the moment, to embrace the teachable moment.
“Academics is really, really important, but the whole person is also important. We’re here to prepare them academically, but we’re also here to prepare them for the next phase of their lives.”
Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to grade ? because… “I would go back to fifth grade so that I could be ‘all-time’ quarterback again while playing football at recess. I didn’t like to run, but I loved to throw the football.”
If you walked into your new school building to theme music by a favorite artist or band that gets you rarin’ to go, what would the song be? “Bon Jovi, ‘Livin’ on a Prayer.’ I’ve seen Bon Jovi three times, starting in high school!”