“Little wins” for Winnetonka

Mark Maus brought in on short notice as Interim Principal

Clayre Barkema , Writer

A month after the arrest of the school’s long-term principal, according to students and staff, things are back to normal since Executive Director of Human Resources Mark Maus was brought in on short notice from central office to act as the school’s Interim Principal. He appears to have made a good first impression on the staff.

“I thought he was very personable, friendly and nice,” administrative assistant Lisa Butler said. “When he greeted all of us, I had never met him before and I felt like I knew him already.”

On top of filing in as principal, Maus is still maintaining his position at central office.

“I do have a job in Human Resources that I’ve been neglecting, for lack of a better term,” Maus said. “Thursday and Friday I try to spend a lot of time here because I’m out Monday and Tuesday for different meetings.”

Maus has been in education for 16 years and has been at central office for a year.

“I taught math for six years and then I was an assistant principal and then six years as a principal for two different schools,” Maus said. “Then I transitioned to HR but now I’m back being a principal.”

Alyssa Magrone
New Interim principal Mark Maus discusses transition with Griffin Rites staff writer sophomore Clayre Barkema on Jan. 27.

As a teacher, his favorite part about education is when the light bulb in a student’s head goes off.

“Sometimes you can describe it as little wins,” Maus said. “When students have been struggling with a problem or a worksheet or a project that they’re working on and you start seeing them get it, that to me is the most exciting moment.”

Having previously been a principal at Oak Park, Maus shares how his experience in both schools are similar while still being unique.

“Kids are kids,” Maus said. “Freshman are squirrely. Sophomores are a little bit more mature, but they don’t like being underclassmen. Juniors want to be seniors. Seniors just want to be done with high school.”

Maus said he is excited to get back to the hallways after being in central office.

“I get to shake hands, give high fives, see kids ace tests, or on the basketball court or in theater,” Maus said. “I really like that whole aspect that I get to see as a principal. I like seeing all those things.”

Senior Grace Taylor met Maus and claims she had an excellent experience with him.

“He was really funny and he made me feel like I’d known him for a long time,” Taylor said. “He has  gotten to know a lot of the kids and has made us feel better about the whole situation.”

Taylor has also noticed his presence around school more.

“Maus has been wanting to get to know the students,” Taylor said. “He asked us to interview him for WGTV, Tonka Talks, because he wanted everyone to get to know him better.”

Maus claims he is passionate about being a principal and motivates students to do their best.

“I expect a lot out of students,” Maus said. “I know that when young men and women apply themselves they can do amazing things.”

Maus wanted to share some information to students to encourage them to keep with school.

“Enjoy high school. I know sometimes it feels like it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done because of something going on or you’re mad at your friend or you’re mad at your parents,” Maus said. “But I absolutely loved high school.    My best friends, still to this day are the friends that I had in high school. So enjoy your time. It goes really fast.”