As Susan Saunders announced her farewell to the principalship of George Washington High School, John Schlauraff, now the former assistant principal, got ready to fill her shoes and take over the highly demanding position. Although the circumstances under which he started out his journey as principal are quite unlike the previous years, Schlauraff is very enthusiastic about his looming contributions to the school’s community.
Although unplanned, his graduation to the position of principal became a crucial step towards fulfilling his calling. “I am truly living out my purpose and passion for education and inspiring others to achieve every day so that each and every person in the community continues to soar higher,” Schlauraff shares. The support and encouragement of the wonderful people, who have surrounded him throughout his educational career, were the key factors that affected his decision to run for the position. However, the school and the students played just as an important role. “The community of GWHS made the decision to go for the principalship an easy one; we are proud, resilient, and will all work together in any circumstance to make it the best we can.”
That being said, Schlauraff is very excited to take on his new duties as the head and brainpower of our school. “I’ve always felt my role was to ensure quality in education and to provide the support needed for people to be successful. That feeling is still the same, but now instead of a classroom with 35 students and my science department colleagues [back when I was a teacher at Burton High], my classroom is 2100 students and many departments with all of my GWHS colleagues.”
In consequence of John Schlauraff taking on the role of the school’s principal, his position of assistant principal became a faceless title. With his administration credential sitting on the shelf for nearly 10 years, Ed Marquez, now a former part of the mathematics department at Wash, decided to seize the opportunity. “Last December, I realized the timing seemed right for my family but it meant that I would have to leave Wash, [which wasn’t preferable]. So when the opportunity came up late last semester, it was like getting a chance to get “drafted” by my home team,” he shares.
Although leaving his classroom and colleagues was a tough aspect of the transition, Marquez is very eager to attain the goals he has set for himself and the school. “One of my ‘high-leverage’ goals is to make social justice a reality by ensuring each and every student has access to high-quality teaching and learning, as well as to develop and support teachers’ anti-racist instructional practices.” Though a seemingly simple, common-sense ambition, as recent events in our country have shown, it is not one that is very easy to fulfill. Facing these difficult times as an educator and disciplinarian takes a whole separate set of qualities and skills, and taking on even more responsibility as one, requires courage and grit.
Marquez also highlights his plan to embrace the concept of caring for each other and the deeper bonds we build with one another in these unfamiliar times. “I have a deep conviction that everyone (staff, students, care providers, etc.) is a good creation and therefore can do much good to help others learn in the classroom and grow in our Wash community.”