New RHS administration, staff

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The RHS administration has changed hands and new teachers joined its hallways in the wake of the 2019-20 school year.
The school’s administration and teaching staff have gone through both minor and major adjustments since last spring. Most notably, the position of principal has been given to former Assistant Principal Benjamin Reynolds and serving as assistant principals are former History teacher (as well as past RHS principal) Patrick Hickey and newcomer Lisa Wojtowicz.
Last June, Thomas Kell retired as the school principal, prompting a campaign to choose his successor.
“I went through two rounds of in-person interviews, followed by a third interview that was conducted on the phone by an outside company. Finally, I completed a writing prompt,” Reynolds said. “After these steps, the committee made a recommendation to the Board of Education and the board then voted to approve my hire.”
Hickey was also in the running for principal, and was instead chosen to be Reynolds’ assistant principal.
“I applied for the principal job first… the committee chose Mr. Reynolds, so I went through one more round of interviews to become assistant principal,” Hickey said. “I’ve known him for a long time so whatever was going to happen, I knew we were going to be on the same team and I was looking forward to that.”
This being her first year in Wyandotte, Wojtowicz brings to the table an outsider’s perspective on the school, as Reynolds and Hickey have been working in the district for eighteen and twenty years respectively. Wojtowicz has been working in the Allen Park school district for twenty-one years and has served as a teacher and a teacher consultant.
“I have been so impressed with all of the staff at Roosevelt, and in our district, who look out for and care for our students day-in and day-out,” Wojtowicz said. “Everyone from food service, our maintenance and tech departments, our administrative assistants, and our counseling and teaching staff have worked hard to get this extraordinary school year started.”
The new administration is already facing tough decisions when it comes to starting off a school year as challenging as this one. The implementation of mandatory, graded remote learning until the school board decides a return to in-person instruction is a viable option is just one of many choices that must be made in order to proceed in a post-quarantine world.
“I hope to bring leadership and support to our students, staff, and families during this unique school year,” Reynolds said. “Team RHS will always work to do what is best for our students.”
On the front lines of the remote learning curriculum are the teaching staff, who have had some alumni instructors join their ranks.
“I have a lot of gratitude towards Roosevelt High School, and a lot of the teachers here gave me the passion to be an educator myself,” Language Arts teacher David Trusewicz said. “It’s really cool to come back and work along with the people who made me want to become a teacher in the first place.”
Trusewicz and fellow Class of 2015 graduate, vocal music director Gerald Hymer, both had their own idea about returning to RHS and giving back to their alma mater by becoming teachers here.
“I’ve worked with the Wyandotte Music Department even during my time at Wayne State,” Hymer said. “Since I co-direct the Wyandotte Academy Youth Choir and have been helping out with different choral ensembles for so long, I felt like my purpose was to guide these young musicians along their musical journey.”
However, with the first month of having lessons online, both novice teachers have had to adjust their usual style of instruction.
“As much as I want everybody here, in the back of my mind, I’m treating it as if we’ll be remote learning the whole year,” Trusewicz said. “If we come back to school, that’s great, but I’m taking every day as ‘I need to better myself as an online educator because this is new for everybody’.”
While Hymer has plans to open fresh perspectives on both creating and performing music, his first priority is improving students’ drive and motivation.
“I’m passionate about making sure everyone is involved and enjoys what they are doing,” Hymer said. “I hope that my students leave my classroom every day feeling proud about what they did or how they performed, or are able to reflect on what went wrong and come back ready to fix whatever issue is in front of them.”
In Trusewicz’s case, being a teacher is more than just educating the younger generation, but also an opportunity to sculpt the future.
“When I came in during my freshman year at Roosevelt, I didn’t have a lot of friends, and I was in marching band which was my start,” Trusewicz said. “From there I got more involved and the more involved I got, the more I came out of my shell. At the beginning of high school, I was the quiet kid and by the time I graduated I was prom king. I want to help kids break out of their shell like I did.”