AJ Grutsch | editor in chief
Elementary principal Robert Schawo comes to USD 329 with promises of continuing the momentum the district already has.
Schawo has become the new Elementary school principal replacing Galen Craghead and Kari Kephart. Schawo, who has a degree in public administration and a degree in elementary education, will lead the Maple Hill and Alma elementary schools.
Schawo had previously applied for this position and had fallen in love with the administration and environment. “I remember just really liking the atmosphere particularly when I talked to the administration that was here at the time,” Scawo said.
Before Schawo was in Wabaunsee, he worked in Topeka for 23 years as an elementary teacher working with 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade students. Later he also found himself working with kindergartners for nine years. After that position he was the dean of students at Eisenhower Middle School. For nine years Schawo also worked as a history teacher for 6th and 8th graders. Schawo’s last position was as a dean of students at Highland Park Central elementary.
As Schawo works into his role as an elementary school principal, he plans to coordinate lesson plans between Maple Hill and Alma elementary. “One thing I know that the teachers have talked about is aligning some curriculum between the two schools and having a chance to work together a little more,” he said.
Schawo also mentioned a primary goal of his is just to keep the momentum rolling with these schools in the district. He says that there is no big issue with these schools and it’s all about how we can run more efficiently.
With having a lot of experience in the education field, Schawo says listening and being able to build a good team are important qualities a principal can have. He adds that leadership and some academics are necessary too. He describes his job as helping the teachers do their jobs because the teachers are doing the most important work. “I’m there to set the stage and help that stuff work but they’re the ones actually doing it,” Schawo said.
Schawo makes it clear that he enjoys his work and is excited for this position as a whole. “I really care about education, I really care about kids, and I really care about people. I love this community and in this short amount of time I’ve seen nothing but positive things here and I’m committed to the long haul here and doing what I can to help this place go from what’s already really good to even better,” Schawo said.