A Day in the Life of Our Principal

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A Day in the Life of Our Principal

Madeline Nelson and Chloe Newbury

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When her alarm sounds at 5:30 a.m., AHS principal Heather McKay is awake and checking her phone for teachers that may be need substitutes that day.  McKay then either lies in bed for a little while longer or gets up and get a start to her day.  “I always tease people and tell them that if they see me in a French braid, I was running slow that morning,” McKay said.  She said that she isn’t a morning person, and that she’s more of a night person.  One of her favorite parts of her morning is telling her family goodbye and to have a good day.

McKay said everyday is different, once she gets to school.  Once she walks in the doors, she looks at her calendar, checking to see if she has any meetings scheduled.  She grabs her morning coffee, greets everyone in the office, and then tries to make it to the front door to greet students. “The only constant part of my day is being at the door every morning.”  McKay said.  

At work, her favorite part is getting into the classrooms. She was recently able to share ideas with a teacher and she really liked that. She also said that talking with kids is one of the many highlights of her day.  Meetings are McKay’s least favorite aspects of her job. A challenge that McKay has with this job is that she isn’t able to please everyone like she would like to, but she still considers the job rewarding.  She said that even on tough days she has to remember the good things.  

McKay, as principal, has a lot of goals for Atlantic High School.  She would like to see improved communication and to get into classrooms more.  “I want Atlantic High School to go to the next level,” she said.

In her free time and in the evenings, McKay likes to attend school events.  She is so involved with her job and being a part of the school that she isn’t home as much as she’d like to be.  “Señor Vargason lent me a movie last spring that is still sitting on my desk at home, but I haven’t gotten the time to watch it,”  McKay said.  Her favorite movie is “Unusual Suspects.” However,  she doesn’t like chick flicks: “I really kind of despise them.”  Another thing she enjoys about the evenings is when her family gets to sit down and have a meal together.

McKay said she has “no idea” how the students see her. “I wish I knew,” she said.  She said some kids automatically have an impression of her just because of her position at the high school.   She doesn’t like not knowing kids’ names and she wants everyone to know that her door is always open. McKay has been a part of the school district for 19 years.  “I love Atlantic and I love Atlantic High School.”

Q & A with Mrs. McKay

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: “I really want to go to Wales.” She said that’s where her family heritage originates.


Q: What book are you reading right now?

A: Dan Brown’s “Inferno.” “It’s awesome, I’m a huge Dan Brown fan.” McKay also said, “I always read a personal book and a professional book.”


Q: What’s your favorite TV show?

A: “The Big Bang Theory” – “I have every season on DVD.” She also said she is the most like Sheldon.


Q: How did you spend your summer?

A: McKay and her family spent three weeks in Germany and met Chrissy Hitz’s family, who was a German exchange student last year, at which she said was, “So great”. She also said, “The best part was that I didn’t have an international plan on my cell phone.”


Q: If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose and why?

A: Mckay said Hermione Granger because she is “tough, brilliant, a good friend, and cares about family.”


Q: Do you collect anything?

A: My husband would say coach purses, I would disagree”


Q: What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

A: “Tasmanian Devil” – “I have a tattoo of him I love him so much.”


Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?

A: McKay loves them both but likes dogs more because she’s allergic to cats “I’m a dog person by default.”


Q: Do you usually eat school lunch or bring your own lunch?

A: McKay brings Protein shakes, because she is trying to do a 90 day challenge.


Q: What is your favorite school lunch?

A: McKay said popcorn Chicken and Mashed Potatoes


Q: What is it like not having Chrissy with your family this year?

A: McKay said, “She definitely became part of our family.” Chrissy and the McKay’s Skype as much as they can.


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