PULASKI – With more than two decades of educational experience within the district, Michael Bateson has taken over the reins as principal of Pulaski High School, and has several ideas on how to increase the school’s potential.
Bateson, who began teaching at PACS in 1994 and recently held the position as principal at Pulaski Middle School, said his transition into the principalship at the high school has gone smoothly thanks to district administration, fellow staff members and the community.
“Pulaski’s school community has been really, really good to me. It has positively impacted my life,” said Bateson. “I want to work hard and hopefully retire from here someday. And I just want to thank this district and the people with whom I get to work with every day for giving me this opportunity.”
While Bateson conceded that the position comes with added responsibilities, he said the level of trust he’s been able to establish with staff members over the past 20 years has aided his changeover to the high school.
“That has been crucial,” said Bateson. “I think for anyone who is going to come into any kind of administrative or principalship role, they need to have that base of trust. And I’m fortunate to have been working with this group for a number of years.”
Believing that respect should be shown regardless of a person’s age, Bateson is also a fierce proponent of showcasing trust in students. According to Bateson, maturity and trust have nothing to do with age.
“It’s based on what you’ve experienced and how you treat one another,” said Bateson. “The first thing I’m going to do is show students respect and trust. When you do that, you’re automatically starting on a positive, and you’re setting up the next conversation to be positive.”
Although he’s still settling into his new position, Bateson has already begun to set goals for the high school, including ways to improve student achievement.
Among these goals include making sure each and every person invested in the high school feels like they matter.
To do that, Bateson said constant communication will be a necessity.
Bateson also said he is observing the systems the school currently has in place, and trying to identify any gaps that may exist within those systems.
Furthermore, Bateson is extremely invested in helping maximize the effectiveness of the school’s Special Education Department, and has already begun building plans to make that goal a reality.
Bateson is also heavily involved in the district’s professional development initiatives, and strongly believes there is a direct correlation between quality lesson planning and student achievement.
“We want to provide teachers with quality professional development opportunities so that they can best help our students,” Bateson said.
Overall, Bateson said he understands the responsibilities and expectations that come with the high school principal position, but noted his confidence in getting the job done.
“It’s a daunting job, but it’s awesome because of who you’re working for. You’re working for the kids,” said Bateson. “And we’re not talking about a student that goes to Pulaski, but we’re talking about someone’s son or daughter… I always try to remember that.”