New Associate Principal Takes Advantage of Opportunities

Adriana Laughrin and Gavin McClowry

Transitioning from her role as a science teacher, Associate Principal Lindsey Lewis sought after a career that mirrored her own high school experience: fast-paced and widely involved. This search led her to Neenah High School. 

Beginning the 2021-’22 school year as a stranger to both the school and the community, Lewis set out to begin her first opportunity serving as a leader for not only the 2,000 students walking through the halls but also the faculty. The job promised to offer an outlet for Lewis to exercise her passion for curriculum development: a responsibility not typically held by an associate principal position.

Working at such a populated school, Lewis admires the diverse options available to each student in both the academic and social culture. According to the N.J.S.D. directory, 199 staff members operate NHS. Having such a large quantity of professionals working with students every day reassures Lewis that there is a trustworthy adult for each type of student to connect with. Such promises represent what Lewis believes to be one of Neenah’s highlighted strengths. 

“I really like the level of pride everybody has and that sense of community wanting to do really well and represent Neenah. The fact that it’s a one high school town is cool because everybody can really rally behind the Rockets.”

Being a student for most of her life, Lewis understands the value of an active and engaging school community. She first attended the University of Madison to pursue a degree in genetics and fell in love with the large classes and bustling campus life. Such an atmosphere encourages students to discover new layers of themselves, their strengths and who they hope to become. With the transition of moving NHS to a new building, Lewis remains eager to fulfill her role in building the new school to reflect the immense potential Neenah holds to be such a community of growth. 

According to the U. S. Department of Labor, the average American will hold approximately 12.4 jobs between the ages of 18 and 54. Throughout her career as a student, Lewis explored a vast variety of pathways within the ranges of education and science. She obtained her master’s in biology from Mississippi State University and is currently working toward her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. 

The prospect of remaining a teacher seemed likely for Lewis and becoming a principal seemed beyond her comfort zone. Moving across the state to an unfamiliar town seemed beyond her comfort zone. Working as an administrator for over 2,000 students seemed beyond her comfort zone. Yet, she took the opportunities, her education, her passions and a leap of faith.

In regards to her students at NHS, Lewis hopes that they each know their value and potential. Mistakes are to be expected but not to be dwelled upon. Lewis challenges the high school to make every choice worthwhile.

 “When you have a hard decision, between two options, you make a decision and then you make it the right decision.” 

Life is complicated and the answers are not always found written on the wall or in black-and-white. Lewis believes if an answer does not rear its head, students must pick an answer and force it to be correct. The decision to move to Neenah with her family of four proved difficult for Lewis; nevertheless, she made the experience her own and eagerly awaits the new opportunities her time in Neenah will present.