By Jabari Ferrell ’17
You’ve listened, you heard, and now it is happening. Our very own Bishop McNamara High School Principal Dr. Robert Van der Waag is stepping down as principal of the school to return to the classroom. Dr. Van Der Waag has been a part of the Bishop McNamara community since 2011. He was given the title Principal at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. The 2013-2014 school year was his first academic year as principal of the school. He is considered a strong representative of our school community.
When asked “why the switch”,rather than a long pause he instead answered without hesitation. His biggest reason that he gave for the switch back into the classroom is time .
“Time is the biggest thing, and finding a balance between life and work” said Van der Waag. Being newly married a month and a half before taken the position of Principal was tough but he says his wife helped make the process easier. He believes that his four years of service was a great foundation to help McNamara acclimated and evolve into the new ways of life. Now it is time to strengthen his life and relationships outside of work, especially with his wife.
The challenges that McNamara faces with this switch coming about, is finding someone who can step up and be just as great as Dr. Van de Waag was, if not better. Dr. Van de Waag’s greatest achievements as principal at McNamara were hiring more than 50 outstanding educators, helping write the graduate profile, and creating the school code. All of these things to him are his greatest achievements because they all are things that will live on longer than him within the school community.
These educators that he put in place will give students quality education that will help them reach higher education after graduating high school. The graduate profile gives students the confidence in their academic excellence and achievements at McNamara prior to graduation. The school code was written to give basic structure and establishment of what the BMHS community is all about.
Dr. Van der Waag and all his great accomplishments of principal for the past four years will always send McNamara to a higher place. When the Class of 2017 stepped foot into McNamara it was his first year, and now they are graduating and he is heading back into the classroom. Dr. Van der Waag says that to him, “The Class of 2017 has definitely had an impact on him in the past four years of serving as principal”. He feels that they are graduating together, they are going onto higher education and he is going onto better himself as well. He has seen them and watched them grow, and achieve everything we have set ourselves to do inside and outside of McNamara.
Dr. Robert Van der Waag was a great principal and he really has made a great impact on the school. His position of principal during this years will never been forgotten. He will still be seen around the McNamara community. The new principal, Dr. Traylor will definitely fulfill the duties and take the school to even a better place, and Dr. Van der Waag has made sure this will happen. Dr. Van der Waag will be missed as principal of Bishop McNamara and even though he will not be in office he will still have significant impact on the community.