The role of principal is one that some would probably not want to do, but the new principal of Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School is not only ready but is looking forward to this new school year as the principal.
The Notre Dame Schools announced the appointment of JD McKenzie as the new principal of Notre Dame Jr/Sr. High School, effective July 1.
McKenzie is in his 14th year at Notre Dame, as a teacher, he has taught 7th-grade social studies, 8th-grade world history and 12th-grade government. McKenzie has served as the Athletic Director and as head coach of the Lady Titan’s basketball for 10 years and softball for four years, and he was most recently honored as the Division IV Girls Basketball Coach of the Year by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches’ Association.
McKenzie said of coming to Notre Dame at the beginning of his career, “Being Catholic it appealed to me, it was kind of by chance, but I feel God brought me this way because it was the only job opening in my field at the time.”
McKenzie said the position of principal was something he had in his mind for some time. “I had had an interest early in my educational career, I had really thought about it in college that this may be a path I would choose at one point,” McKenzie said. “The first time it came open I didn’t really look into it and then the older I got and the more invested I got in the school, I thought this is a path that may be right for me, in the next step in my career. Really learning all the things about the school and how it works, being able to teach under two great principals Kathy Milligan and Tom Walker just to gain some insight and experience what they do daily I was ready at this time.
“I’m really excited and a little nervous about the position because it’s a way different role for me. The one thing I was nervous about was losing the amount of interaction I would have with the students, because in the classroom you have them so much you get to know them a lot more personally, than maybe you can in this position,” McKenzie said. “I’m doing my best to stay out of the office as much as I can and be visible in the school, classrooms and in the hallways so I keep those relationships with the kids. I’m excited about it, I love Notre Dame, it’s a great school, a great place. I’m excited about the opportunities that hopefully I can bring to this school and the future for it.”
McKenzie concluded with what he looks forward to in the future. “We kind of have some traditions here at Notre Dame Schools, like Catholic week, homecoming events and on Wednesday we had our all school mass and that was a very good time,” he said. “We’ve been able to have the new Bishop here a few times. We are looking into kids being involved in the community and things, like Lexie Graf did a really good well in the River Days’ Pageant.”
McKenzie and his wife, Crystal, have two children, Piper and Colt, who attend Notre Dame Elementary and Crystal is a 2001 graduate of The Notre Dame Schools.
“One of the things I’m big on is the kids enjoying going to school and make sure we keep that,” McKenzie said. “There is a lot of structure and discipline, but we make sure the kids are enjoying their day and the staff that they are a part of on a day to day basis.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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