Babics becomes head principal of the high school

By Matthias Miles, Managing Editor — Students may have noticed some familiar faces when walking into school this fall, but three of those faces are in a new position.

This year, GlenOak high school has filled three administrative positions with returning staff members after the departure of former head building principal Tamiko Hatcher. Mike Babics has overtaken the reigns as building principal with Gayle Kimbrough at his side as deputy principal. Former guidance counselor Matthew Gagnon has become the freshman academy principal as well.

Gagnon is taking over Babics’ position from last year. Gagnon had worked for the previous seven years as a counselor within the district. He is excited to move into his new position and pick up where Babics left off.

“Mike [Babics] had a good system beforehand with the teachers and the students,” Gagnon said. “[The freshman wing] should be well-established and we shouldn’t have many problems.”

Gagnon also has goals for the freshman class as he wants to see them progress.

“One goal of mine is to continue to grow our students and expectations as they go through high school, not only academically but personally too,” Gagnon said.

As Gagnon is striving for freshman growth, the school grew itself with a new position. Kimbrough was appointed as deputy principal, a position that was made this year. Kimbrough has worked within Plain Local for over 20 years and her job last year was curriculum specialist. Although Kimbrough’s position has changed, her environment has not.

“Last year, I was at the high school but I had many more district responsibilities. I worked mostly within the central office staff and I am very familiar with the high school,” Kimbrough said. “Nothing feels different between this year and last.”

Kimbrough’s biggest goal this year is to make sure students get recognition.

“[The administrators] want the high school to have a positive climate which will boost test scores,” Kimbrough said. “This all starts with student recognition.”

Babics also has student culture in his mind. As Babics takes over as the building principal, he wants the school spirit to stay at a high level.

“The biggest thing for me is the culture,” Babics said. “It all starts with the students. If the little things like school spirit are high, they will create a sense of cohesiveness and big things will take care of themselves.”

Babics has much more responsibility this year than he did last year. As freshman principal he was responsible for roughly 500 students and 22 teachers; now he is responsible for everyone in the school. Babics has made plans to make sure the school runs as smoothly as it can, because there are always still unforeseen events.

“Nothing has happened yet that has caught us by surprise but there are always misfortunes that you cannot plan for, such as when it snows in January,” Babics said. “We plan to make sure the parking lot will be okay but we can not always predict the amount of snow, for example.”

So as the new administration looks for a problem-free year, it is under the helm of three new, but known, faces. Since the year has commenced, the new administration positions continue to build within the school.

[Updated Aug. 19, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]