THE BIG THINGS: New High School Principal Dr. Megan Myers ended the school year by talking with staff about the sand, the pebbles and the stones. Just as arranged in the jars, the stones are the big things that deserve attention. The "big things" that got the priority stickers during the work session were academics as a priority and behavior consistency. (Staff Photo by Lisa Brichcek)

WAVERLY – When Dr. Megan Myers interviewed last year for the position of assistant principal at Waverly High School, she didn’t know she would be going through another round of interviews this year.

But, that is the way it worked out and Myers couldn’t be more pleased to be moving into next door into the principal’s office.

Myers accepted more duties mid-school year, when former Waverly High School Principal Ryan Ricenbaw accepted another job. In March, after candidate interviews, she was tapped by the district to be the new principal.

Myers has made the move into the adjoining office and is using this summer to getting settled in.

But, don’t expect her to stay in that office all the time, especially once school starts in August.

“My passion is to be an instructional leader,” she said. “I don’t just want to be an administrator sitting in my office. My style is academic forward.”

Myers said there will be times when she will have to get things done from behind her desk. But, she also will make time to be in the hallways and in the classroom.

The administrator also brings a passion to make academics a priority. This was a passion she said she was pleased to see other educators at Waverly High School share.

At the end of the school year, Myers had a session with teaching staff and discussed sand, pebbles and stones. She said the sand and pebbles are important but they are often the details, both small and big, that can weigh down the process. The rocks are also important and they are the items that come with value and priority.

From this discussion, an exercise evolved into what should be the priority items at Waverly High School. Making academics a priority and offering behavior consistency are what came to the top of the jar as “rocks”.

Myers said one of her goals will be to make sure those rocks stay in the forefront.

“Some of that comes from just simplifying things,” she added.

For example, there is always a great new idea that sounds like the best thing ever for education. However, she said sometimes implementing and maintaining those new ideas can be come distractions, rather than benefits.

The emphasis, she said, should always be on the basics.

“It’s about the essentials kids need to know,” she added.

Myers is confident the staff at Waverly High School believes in those basics as well. She said there are many talented staff members at the school who are committed to those essentials.

Myers had a chance to work with many of those teachers during her first year at Waverly High School, and she has had a hand in bringing about many of the educators who will be in place next school year. Stepping in as interim principal, she helped to hire six new staff members.

She said she viewed having new staff as an opportunity to add into an already good staff. She also sees opportunity to pass the torch around when it comes to leadership.

“I am definitely not a leader of one,” she said. “I want to help guide us and I am going to bring a lot of people along with me.”

Myers said she could not have imagined when she applied for the assistant principal‘s job that she would be sitting in the principal’s chair today. But, she is very glad it has worked that way.

She had taught high school science in Papillion-Lavista South for 10 years. Then, she moved into administration as the dean of students for three years at Elkhorn South.

“Waverly just caught my eye. I had heard good things about it and, to be honest, the solidifying part was the interview,” she said.

Everyone the Omaha native met and talked to during those interviews last year made her feel very welcome.

“It just really felt like family, felt like home,” she added. “I wanted to be a part of the community.”

She has brought her family to the community as well. She and her husband, Dave, have two boys, Mason, 9, and Lincoln, 6. A one-year old puppy, Lucy, now romps around the home they just built in Waverly as well.

Myers will spend the rest of her summer getting ready for a new school year. Some of that will be spent with one of the new administrators she hired. Jed Givens is the new assistant principal.

Givens has taught English for the past two years at Elkhorn South. Prior that, he taught at Bellevue East for eight years.

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