Hello Charger Families!
I hope this finds you well! I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Mike Amend and I am the new principal at Mary Walker High School. This is my 9th year in an administrative role in Washington State. My roles have included Dean of Students, Principal’s Assistant, and Principal. I have led in a large high school, a Title 1 Elementary School, two different K-8 option schools, and a small P-12 school. Prior to entering administration I taught high school science and coached football, basketball, wrestling, and baseball. I am excited to get back to my high school roots and lead the staff and students at MWHS. My wife and I have been married for just over 21 years and have a son who is 16. We enjoy all kinds of sports, the outdoors, and everything Avengers related.
I am truly excited about the opportunities that are available to our staff, students, and families that are connected to the Mary Walker School District. We know that there are three things that are needed for students to be successful no matter their age, past academic performance, family background, or socioeconomic status. They include relational trust, social support, and academic press (Salina, Girtz, and Eppinga, 2016). Part of the reason I am so excited to be here is because the pieces for relational trust, academic press, and social support are all either currently in place or will be over the next few years. Our wellness team, made up of student support specialists from ESD 101 and community connections specialists from Communities in Schools will work together to provide the social support our students and families need to be successful. Our district was chosen to be a part of the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) cohort that is entering a three year process of implementing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) at a district-wide level. This will ensure that our students are focusing on the most essential learning standards, that our teachers are using best practices for collaboration and instruction, and that our district systems are aligned with the goal of more quality instruction happening in more rooms, more often. No matter how good the current instruction is, a continued commitment to academic press is something we all want for our Mary Walker educational family. The final component, relational trust, is a component that has no shortcut. The thing we will do, as a staff, at MWHS to build this relational trust is communicate with our students and families clearly and frequently. Sometimes the message will be a fun one to hear and sometimes it will be difficult. What will build our relational trust is that, no matter the message, it will be consistent and true to the best of our knowledge. When we have reasons to celebrate we will celebrate them and include you in the celebration. If we have tough conversations to have we will include you in those as well. If we make mistakes we will own them and move forward in the best interest of student learning. Through ensuring social support, academic press, and relational trust we will give each and every student the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability.
This learning community is truly ready, and ripe, for growth! It is my honor and privilege to be trusted to lead this work and I am excited for where it will lead. We are committed to the Charger Promise to “develop confident, well-rounded, and sought after graduates prepared for the future” and I look forward to working together to make it a reality! Please feel free to be in touch via phone, 509-258-4534, or via email, mamend@marywalker