New principal takes high school helm

New D.C. Everest Senior High school principal, Mr. Raether. Photo by Breanna Narlock.

New D.C. Everest Senior High school principal, Mr. Raether. Photo by Breanna Narlock.

Samuel Davisson, Reporter

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  Since the start of this school year, one question has been on everybody’s mind.  Who is the new principal, and what’s he like? Is he going to do things differently than Dr. Thomas Johansen did?

  His name is Mr. Mike Raether.  He has previously worked as a social studies teacher in Green Bay, an assistant high school principal near Milwaukee and middle school principal near Oshkosh.  He is married with a family of two boys, and a girl on the way.

  This past spring Mr. Raether applied to D. C. Everest because “Everest is a well known commodity.”  Additionally, he said that superintendent Kristine Gilmore’s success in running the district drew him in.

  In terms of change, Mr. Raether plans to focus on relationships between staff and students.  Mr. Raether’s goal is to improve students’ perceptions of adults in the building, so that they feel more welcomed and cared for.

  Other goals he has include improving attendance, and student’s literacy skills.

  So far, in his quest to accomplish these goals, he has run into some challenges.  The largest challenge being the phrase from staff ‘because we’ve always done it that way.’  To that, Mr. Raether said, “But do we want to continue doing it that way?”

  It is hard navigating the needs and desires of everybody while still trying to improve things for students.  “Maybe they [with needs/desires] represent 1000. Maybe they represent five, you don’t know,” Raether said.

  DCE’s new principal has received a warm welcome here since he started.  

  “I would say in the three weeks that I’ve been here, this is, has been everything I could have hoped for, in terms of the welcome I’ve received from staff and from students,” Raether said.  

  Junior Drew Morehouse said, “He’s definitely trying to get to know everyone, be a friendly face. He’s trying to navigate everything, get things figured out, get people to know him and to know people. He’s a swell dude.”

  Regarding his interactions with staff, band teacher Mr. Joe Finnegan said, “He’s been very professional and nice to work with.  I just like the way he communicates with them [students], not in a threatening manner, but a real relationship manner.”

  As a person, not just a school administrator, Senior Kaitlyn Klapatauskas said she would like to see, “Someone who is interactive with the kids, someone who has interest in us.”

  Assistant Principal Jeff See believes that Mr. Raether truly does want to build relationships with students.  He said that while Mr. Raether was waiting for one of his interviews, “Some of the other people we were interviewing were on their phones, but he was out sitting with kids, with all kinds of kids in our building… He was trying to meet [kids] before he even had a job.”

  As a way to determine from students what they want from the new principal, Mr. Raether visited several homerooms to talk with students, and gave out ‘Plus Delta’ cards, so that students can show what they like about the school, and what they would like to see change.  

  For example, senior Sam Debyle asked for “senior quotes.”

  Junior Grace Tesch wants to see communication improve and standardize between teachers and students, so that students are hearing the same messages from different teachers.

  Mr. Raether hopes to improve the school with these suggestions, as,“Every place I’ve been, they know D. C. Everest.  People look to Everest and say ‘what is Everest doing, I want to copy them.’”


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