May steps up at SFHS

New assistant principal-athletic director looks ahead
by Jeff Pederson

With very little time to spare before the start of the 2011-12 school year, Aaron May stepped foot into Sheboygan Falls High School on Tuesday, Aug. 16, to assume his new position as associate principalathletic director. The first month of his tenure at SFHS has been filled to the brim with a whirlwind of activity. Between meeting staff members, students and parents, familiarizing himself with the ins and outs of school procedures and learning how to juggle the dual associate principal and athletic director duties, May has been taking all of the challenges of his new job in stride. “The last four weeks have gone very fast, that's for sure,” he said. “Considering the amount of information I've learned, the people I've met and the challenges I've faced, it has been quite an experience so far, but I wouldn't have it any other way. This job suits me very well.” May, who is a native of Hutchinson, Minn., comes to SFHS from Freedom High School, where he served as a social studies teacher and football and wrestling coach for eight years. After earning a master's degree in educational administration and a principal's license in 2008, May began to develop a plan for transitioning into the administrative field. “Last year I started to feel that I was ready to move into the administrative side of education,” May said. “I sat down with my wife and made a list of schools that were appealing. I was not interested in taking a job in just any district. “I was looking for a school that was relatively close to where we live in De Pere and was comparable in size to Freedom,” he said. “Sheboygan Falls was definitely on my list. When I saw there was an opening, I didn't hesitate to apply.” Upon arriving in Sheboygan Falls for his first interview, May was impressed with the school district and the community. “I had never been to Sheboygan Falls before my first interview,” he said. “I got a chance to drive around and check out the city. I liked the look and feel of the community and I knew it was a place I wanted to be for a long time.” May, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education with a social studies emphasis, was drawn to the demographics of the school and the city. “The makeup of the population is similar to Freedom,” he said. “I like that this is a school where you can get to know every student. Larger schools don't appeal to me because you can't really do that. “I was also intrigued by the success of the sports programs in recent years. Girls soccer, baseball and wrestling have been very strong and we have several other programs that are up and coming.” May said his dual assistant principal and athletic director roles offer a very different challenges. “A lot of what an assistant principal does involves student discipline,” he said. “Quite a bit of time is spent dealing with kids who have made bad choices. The job also requires me to make contact with parents on a regular basis and work with families on ways to modify unacceptable behavior.” “The athletic director role is kind of on the other end of the spectrum, as it deals with celebrating the accomplishments of students that are excelling in sports. I take both roles very seriously because I believe in kids, and I want to offer the best experience possible for students in our school classrooms and in our athletic programs.” May credits SFHS Attendance Secretary Michelle Spielvogel and Assistant to the Athletic Director Lisa Bocchini with helping him learn the fine details of his dual roles. “Michelle and Lisa have been great to work with,” May said. “They've been so helpful in getting me up to speed on both facets of the job. They know what they're doing and that's a real big help to me as I continue to learn.” In addition to handling discipline issues, May is responsible for supervising and evaluating school staff and enforcing school policies. “The School Board and our Superintendent, Jean Born, expect a certain level of quality in the job performance of the assistant principal, and that is what I am dedicated to attaining and maintaining,” he said. May's duties as athletic director include: scheduling games and officials; hiring, supervising and evaluating coaches and enforcing the school's co-curricular code. Although the athletic director part of the job often requires long hours, May's enthusiasm for high school sports is unwavering. “I love high school sports,” he said. “The level of school spirit that you see at high school sporting events is unmatched in any other level of athletic competition. I just enjoy being part of that kind of atmosphere. “The days can be long when there are games and events after school and in the evening, but that is just part of job. I want everyone that attends an athletic event at Sheboygan Falls High School to say that our school is a class act that puts on a high level event. I think I need to be there to make sure we run the best contests possible for all the students, parents, fans and officials.” May is a firm believer in the importance of extracurricular and co-curricular activities in student development. “I believe extra and co-curricular activities are the second half of the educational experience in high school,” he said. “The spotlight, pressure and level of achievement that come with athletics or forensics or any extra activity can't be replicated in the classroom. “That certainly doesn't mean they are more important than the classroom, but I think they give students the full educational experience that they need to be successful in life.” Although he currently lives in De Pere with his wife Heather, and sons Harrison, 5, Loy, 3, and Will, 3 weeks, May is anxious to eventually settle down in Sheboygan Falls. “My wife is an elementary school teacher in the Howard-Suamico School District, and we are hoping to move here, after she finishes up this school year,” May said. “The commute from De Pere is not real enjoyable, but the main reason to move is because I really want to be part of this community for the long haul.”

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