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Already working hard

Lake Orion High School welcomes itís fourth principal in 10 years: Stephen Hawley. Will this one stick? Photo by Trevor Keiser (click for larger version)
August 29, 2012 - For 20 years Stephen Hawley has been a teacher, coach, athletic director, a high school assistant principal, a middle school principal and school administrator in different roles for various schools around the state. But now Hawley is the new principal of Lake Orion High School.

"I'm really excited about starting my 21st year in education as principal of Lake Orion High School," he said. "No doubt about it."

The Lake Orion High School opening was a great opportunity and challenge career wise, he said something he aspiring to do for a long time said Hawley, which is one of the reasons he took the position.

"I don't think there is a better place. Lake Orion is well known for its traditions academically, athletically, in all of their extra curricular activities," he said. It also offers a family and children just a terrific place to grow up as well as grow within the school district."

Hawley said he is anxious to bring his own family here, having three school age children who will attend Lake Orion Schools. He also started working on July 1, which has allowed him a couple months to get acclimated to the district, the people he'll be working with, as well as with parents and the community.

"I've had a chance to sit down with so many people and what really resonates with me is the pride the community has. There is a united feel here and that is something that excites me," he said. "It's something that if I were to say were my vision would be to continue to work towards that team aspect, working together on a united front. I think that is really where true success comes from. The people I've met are just quality individuals from parents to the students, to community leaders. It's just been a great start for me."

The early start was good for him and his staff as well.

"It will lead to a smoother transition for me, but I think a better start for the school year," he said. "I think the community and staff have had a chance to know who the principal will be and I think that always is important."

Hawley grew up in Wayne County, where he graduated from Westland John Glenn High School and received a bachelor's degree from Albion College. He earned his master's degree in Administration of Education from Madonna University in Livonia and finalized his Educational Specialist Degree from Oakland University.

While schools today are being measured by their academic success (which he thinks is critically important) Hawley also believes it's important to "carefully balance" the academics with the growth of the total child.

"That's something I think Lake Orion does an exceptional job at, is really working with the community, the families, the parents and students to make sure every students needs are met," he said. I think that's something I find important and those are the things we'll continually strive to do."

Hawley said he plans to take this first year to learn more about the traditions of Lake Orion's community and schools. He also wants to work with students outside the classroom as well.

"I truly believe anytime a new leader enters any kind of organization, their first role has to be to be sensitive to the culture and traditions of that organization," said Hawley. "I'll definitely do that."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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