Schultz Calls Role as Interim Principal a ‘Great Experience’

Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Journalism I

“It’s a great experience to have immediate impact on what’s going on in the school,” said Matthew Schultz, Notre Dame Academy interim principal.

Schultz graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 1995 with librarian Katie Gelb and history teacher Greg Geiser.

As the IB coordinator for seven years, he also provides administrative leadership in his fifth year as President of the Wisconsin Association of IB World Schools. About 30 schools make up this association of all IB schools in Wisconsin.

“I really do enjoy the aspect that being the IB coordinator allows me to interact with the kids and still teach a couple of classes,” he said.

Schultz became the interim principal when the man hired to replace former principal John Ravizza said he could not come to NDA until January 2018.  Mr. Patrick Browne moves into the office and assumes the principal position on Jan. 2.

“My semester has gone well. I haven’t gotten too many complaints,” said Schultz. “It’s been an interesting and humbling experience at the same time. You never know what you’re getting into until you are actually there.”

The position of principal involves constant change, pretty much what he expected. “It is never the same day two days in a row,” he said.

Schultz may want to be a principal in the future after his three kids have grown up.

“It is important to take time for yourself and reflect and especially not to be too hasty with decision making,” he said.

Looking to the future, Schultz hopes to continue as IB coordinator at Notre Dame Academy. “I’m very happy as IB coordinator,” he said.

Schultz carves out time for himself while knowing that he makes a difference in students’ lives.

“One of the high points is being able to collaborate with students and lead them in what I think is positive professional development,” he said.

Despite his busy schedule, Schultz tries to be at the school as much as he can.

“One of the low points is time commitment. To be successful and maintain what you need to do you have to be here quite a bit. That means that you have to sacrifice somewhere else,” he said.

When his role as principal ends, Schultz will not be teaching in his former capacity.  

“I will help out with IB history classes to some extent, not necessarily taking over by any means. I will help Mr. Browne when he comes in as principal. I will give him the opportunity to use me as a resource and learn the culture of our school and explain some things about NDA,” he said

Schultz continues to learn new things about himself and about new experiences happening in the school.

“Another high point is building relationships with the students and have a hand in providing the best education possible,” he said.

Evidently Mr. Schultz builds relationships with the staff as well because, according to English teacher Carolyn Brown, teachers “have appreciated his leadership because it’s like he’s one of us and still remembers being in the classroom and coping with the demands of day-to-day teaching and preparing.”

Schultz enjoys seeing the difference he makes in the school. “I like to work collaboratively with everyone in the school toward one mission,” he said.

The interim principal is known for wearing bowties to school almost everyday. His favorite bowtie is a navy blue tie with a Thomas Jefferson signature all over it.

“I wear bowties because the majority of men who wear bow ties wear them because the majority of men do not,” he said.

“Mr. Schultz is a man with a plan. He wears the best bowties and gives the best words of advice,” said English teacher Kayla Robbins.