By Tutu Wah
Lincoln High School will get a fresh start next school year with a new principal. Some People knows him by the name of Assistant Principal Mark Larson. “I decided to apply for the job because I love this school, I love this community, I love this neighborhood. This place is really important to me and I’m really invested. I love the kids here, and I want to see this place be what it can be and I want to see our students live up to their full potential,” Larson said.
He really loves this school and wants to make the community see the potential of the students who comes to Lincoln High. Larson has started to do some of the responsibilities that normal principals do, but his official start is this summer. “Some of the specific things that I have been responsibilities that I have had are: Safety and Security, School Improvement, and Staff Development,” said Larson “My official start date is July 1st, but I’m already doing some of the job responsibilities related to principal right now as far as hiring teachers and stuff for next year,” said Larson.
Larson will have many roles as principal and some of those roles might be tough, but he plans to make this school a successful place. “I see main role as a principal here to be a what I call an instructional leader; to be somebody who’s helping support our teachers, helping motivate and inspire our kids so they can achieve to their full potential here at Lincoln High, giving our teachers what they need to do to the best job they can do so in turn they can help our kids learn to the best of their ability,” Larson said. Lincoln High might gain a new principal, but the school will remain mostly the same around the school. “There maybe some policy that may be different next year, but in a lot of ways things should feel pretty much the same,” said Larson.
“In my first year, I think a lot of what I want to do is just take time to listen, and learn from teachers from parents and from students about what they like about Lincoln High, about things they think need to change. I have my opinion about some of those things, but a lot of those changes are going to be slow and gradual so there probably won’t be a ton of things that are going to happen right away,” Larson said. The current Principal, Dr. Michael Wortman, thinks Larson is really qualified to take over his job. “He knows Lincoln High, he knows Lincoln High students, he knows Lincoln High’s staff members and family. He has a strong passion for helping students be successful, so I think he would do a great job,” Mike Wortman said.
In addition, they’ve been taking with each other and Wortman has been informing Larson about different requirements that come with the job or activities that he wasn’t informed about yet. “I’ve shared with him some things that the principal normally does so it’s very nice to have him in the building. I’m sure between now and the time I finish up in June, we’ll have more conversation, but most of it is just tasks or activities that have to be done that he wasn’t aware of. Its just to let him know that these are some things that you have to do next year,” Wortman said. Wortman has been teaching Larson also about what it takes to be principal and about Lincoln High. “I have learned a lot from Dr. Wortman over the last four years. He has taught me to listen, he has shown me the value of a leader being ‘present’, and he has shared his passion and history of LHS with me,” Larson said.
Wortman has high hopes and expectations for Larson. “I expect that he will continue to help Lincoln High be a better school all the time. He will take this school with all the other staff members that are here now and Lincoln High will continue to be a better school all year, “ Wortman said. Wortman also has some advice for the person who would be taking over his position as principal. “I think that the best advice would be things that he is already doing, that is get to know people really well, enjoy the relationships, and also enjoy your time with Lincoln High because Lincoln High is a very amazing school, with amazing people and amazing traditions and just enjoy it,” Wortman said. Larson’s old position as assistant principal is going to be taken over by someone new who is not only qualified for the position but also familiar with Lincoln. “[Shareen] Ahlers, who currently is an Instructional Coordinator at LHS, will be an Associate Principal next year. She has a passion for LHS and will be great in her new position,” Larson said. Next year, when school starts, be prepared to see a familiar face in a whole new role