As a part of orienting myself with my new role as education reporter, I interviewed three people involved in the high schools here. My mini-interviews are below. I’m looking forward to working with these women more this semester.
Jen Mast, Athletic Director, Rock Bridge High School
Jennifer Mast has been the athletic director at Rock Bridge High School for five years. On any given day you can find her talking to reporters, meeting with the administrative team, visiting math classes, editing print materials for the sports teams, and scheduling and managing events.
Mast moved to Columbia when she was 10 years old and was a graduate of Rock Bridge. She studied undergrad at MU and began teaching math at Rock Bridge after graduation. Mast taught math for nine years before becoming the bruins’ athletic director.
Mast says her favorite part about her position is that she doesn’t get bored. “I like being a support for coaches and traveling to events,” she said. She knows how beneficial sports can be and says she enjoys helping the coaches so they can provide a great development experience for the kids.
Last year, the Rock Bridge Bruins had a very successful year. This year, Mast hopes to have a similar year. “My hope is that we continue to have success in a way that builds character in kids, family and coaches.”
Annelle Whitt, PTSA President, Hickman High School
Annelle Whitt is the President of the Hickman High School PTSA for the 2011 – 2012 school year. Prior to her position as PTSA president, she was involved with Hickman basketball and president of the booster club. Her oldest son graduated from Hickman last year and her youngest son will be a sophomore at Hickman next year.
As president, Whitt is responsible for being the face of PTSA. She oversees the board and is the facilitator for the various committee chairs. There are also two student representatives on the board that help her facilitate communication with the student body.
Her favorite thing about her position is the pride in Hickman. Whitt says the school’s rich history within itself and the community creates a wonderful environment. “It’s the best of everything,” Whitt said. “It’s a true reflection of the world in which our kids will live.”
Her biggest hope for this year is to make the public and community aware of all the good things about Hickman and bring back the extraordinary pride that Hickman historically has had. “Hickman is a sleeping giant,” Whitt said.
Kristie Wolfe, Principal, Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School
Kristie Wolfe, principal at Tolton Catholic, is excited. She is excited to be in Columbia, she is excited for Tolton’s first year, and she is excited for classes to move into the new building come October.
A year after moving to the Midwest from the East coast, Wolfe says she loves Columbia. “Above all else, the people here are wonderful,” Wolfe said in an email. Of course, as a principal, the values placed on education don’t hurt either. “This is a community very focused on education, and I am glad to be a part of that!”
Wolfe’s favorite thing about her position is the opportunity to meet people. “Under ordinary circumstances, a high school principal interacts with lots of parents and students. But this year, as we’ve created a brand new school community, I’ve had the chance to be out and about and meet people throughout the entire community. And that’s been a delight,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe’s biggest hope for this year is that things go relatively smooth. Soon, the laptops for Tolton’s unique laptop program will be arriving and eventually everything will be relocated to Tolton’s brand-new building. In the meantime, Wolfe said Columbia College has been very accommodating. “I know we have bumps in our road, I just don’t know what they will be right now, and I hope they’re all easily-solvable problems!”