Get to Know the New Principal

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Principal Heintz addresses the incoming freshman during orientation.

Principal Heintz addresses the incoming freshman during orientation.

Stuart-Rodgers

Stuart-Rodgers

Principal Heintz addresses the incoming freshman during orientation.

Claire Finley, Editor-in-Chief

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As the 2018-2019 school year begins, one of the most obvious changes is in staffing — notably the new principal Mr. Heintz. Even though he’s been working at Loyola for 20 years, many students don’t know much about him, so I sat down to ask him a few questions.

 

Q: What are your overall feelings and thoughts coming into this new school year in a new position?

A: “First and foremost I’m really excited! I’ve worked here for 20 years and I’ve always enjoyed the ability to grow and challenge myself professionally and this is an opportunity to do that. I didn’t hesitate when Fr. McGrath asked me to take over. There’s so many great things about Loyola and I get a chance to broadcast them to a larger audience and I’m really excited about that.”

 

Q: What are some things you hope to accomplish this year?

A: “I hope to build a really collaborative community and get people to celebrate all that Loyola is. I want to get to know more students, I feel like that’s something that’s gotten away from me, and I’m already noticing it’s harder to spend time with students when I’m in a lot more administrative meetings now. In terms of things academically I want to get done, I’m really concerned about completing our new STEM Lab (room 121 is being moved up by room 201), and obviously the new pool and the parking lots and all the construction— I want to make sure we have all the right programming to go in those spaces.”

 

Q: What are your favorite things about Loyola and the Loyola community?

A: “I love the students, the families, the activities. I love that on back-to-school night for freshman two weeks ago, parents stopped me and said, ‘I’m so happy to walk into a classroom and the first thing the teacher says is ‘I love to teach.’’ I think there’s a lot of people here who work really hard and they love what they do, and I think our students are excited to come through the door every day.”

 

Q: What do you want students to know about you?

A: On a more serious note: “That I have high standards. I think I come across as a pretty easygoing person, but I do believe that our students should have a higher standard for their behavior and for their academic achievement. When I talk to everybody about getting better every day I don’t mean that just for students, I mean that for faculty and parents and staff, and we all have reason and expectation that we’re going to grow. And that’s not just about ‘getting better’ or being better than competition, I think it’s about using the gifts God has given us to be our best self.”

A: On a more lighthearted note: “I’m a football fan, and I love to watch football on TV. I grew up in New York so I’m a Jets fan, and I think it’s interesting that after one game, Jets fans are talking about going to the Super Bowl this year because of the new quarterback, Sam Darnold. I also like to cook— I’m a pretty accomplished bread-baker. I like to ride bicycles and I have a tandem bike too.”

 

Q: How will you prioritize responsibilities this school year?

A: “I rely on a team of people to help me figure out our priorities— Fr. McGrath is at the helm there of what gets pushed to the top of the ladder. Safety and security never goes out of the picture, and Loyola continues to work at that, and that’s an ongoing priority and challenge. I think in terms of teaching and learning, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what side of the balloon to push on because there are so many facets that comprise a classroom or a curriculum, and our department chairs do great work in that area. The one area that is most pressing is our STEAM curriculum— so science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math— and how can we create something around engineering and design that we can implement next year, because the following year will be the first year students did physics, chemistry, biology, and senior year they need a whole new set of electives.”

 

Q: What do you see as your biggest challenge?

A: “I’ve set forth three things I want to do— communicate, collaborate, and celebrate— that’s been my mantra for the year. But it’s hard to communicate, and communicate clearly. It’s especially hard to communicate with people after the fact, so communication has to be pertinent and it’s got to be timely, and sometimes you don’t want an event to cloud your message, so you try to get ahead of things and communicate to people, but that’s a lot of people to communicate with. And students are an unwieldy group, but even faculty and staff can be hard to communicate to, and then parents and alumni and benefactors, so there’s a lot of different areas of people I’ve been trying to reach out to and listen to. I think that’s the first step of being a good communicator— listening to what people’s needs are, but then reply with a plan. We’re still coming to the end of the ‘back-to-school activities.’ Now, we have to go into strategy mode to overcome challenges for the rest of the school year, but I think we’re in good shape.”

 

Q: What are some last things you want the Rambler community to know about this school year?

A: “I’ve heard a lot of people say that things feel different this year, and I can’t take 100% responsibility for how things feel, but I want to create an environment where people feel some sense of agility and freedom to select the things that they want to do where they feel like they can make a difference, whether that’s being involved in service learning or retreats or athletics or in theater. Just being a really good student, I think sometimes we ignore that that’s like a full-time job, so how do we get kids to do those things, how can we communicate to people about it, how can we celebrate our students? So if I want one thing for people to know, it’s that I want to hear from folks. It’s funny, being the principal, I get a lot more emails, and I like it when people send me ‘Hey I just want you to know that this happened, and it was really cool.’ I think there’s a sense of ‘I only send an email to the principal when something is wrong.’ And I get those, and I understand that it’s my responsibility to investigate or try to fix that, but I want to hear from people when things are good! Just because everything went according to plan doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate it.”

About the Writer
Claire Finley, Editor-in-Chief

Hi! My name is Claire Finley and I’m editor-in-chief of The Prep. I’ve been writing for the newspaper for 4 years, and I like to cover Arts and Entertainment...

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