“Mark Wilson, it's your magic moment, right here and now”
By Jamie Miles
Reading through last week’s Citizen, all I saw was Mark Wilson, Mark Wilson and more Mark Wilson. It seemed the National Association of Secondary Schools selected him the top high school principal in the nation. That’s quite a lot of schools. Trying to count them, I finally threw in the towel around number 25,001 for the dishes were stacking up terribly high in my kitchen sink. Number One Principal in the Nation. Wow. I had to speak with the honoree.
Waiting in the high school office, I drifted back to my own “waiting to see the principal” moments. My high school office’s décor was painted in deeply serious, trimmed with you-better-not-be-tardy. But observing the MCHS office that morning, smiles and happy nods of greeting abounded. Even the piranhas zipping about in their tank looked, dare I say, cuddly?
Now Mark’s a normal guy, one who enjoys dining on tomato pie and listing to Van Halen (led by either David Lee or Sammy Hagar) cranked just loud enough to embarrass his teenage daughters. Who doesn’t? So what separates this one individual from tens of thousands of high school leaders? After just a few moments observing Doc in his natural habitat, I quickly deduced that a person deemed deserving of such an honor shelters endearing piranhas in his outer office and curiously seems unable to use the word “I” in a sentence.
I, on the other hand, who's never found it a problem to use first person sat completely engaged listening to Mark talk of MCHS’s mission to reach each budding life that walks through their doors. It became clear as crystal washed in ammonia water that his zeal is contagious. His passion to impact young lives leapt forth filling every inch of the room. It was easy to see why everyone loves being a part of such an educational environment; the teachers, the students and even those engaging piranhas.
“We never set out to get any awards, but this is a huge stamp of approval,” Mark enthused, “We want each student to find out what interests them. If they can find out what excites them, we will do whatever it takes to help them follow their dream. We want students to leave here with confidence. “
Now, Mark did use the “I” word a few times when asked directly about why he loved this job. “I am in the unique position of observing first hand all the wonderful things that happen at this school and in this community every day. I am blessed to witness countless selfless acts, often getting glimpses of people at their very best.”
Glimpses of people at their very best. Sitting there with Doc that morning, I began to see exactly what “he” meant.