McNamara Announces New Principal

After being announced as the next principal, Michael Hunt stands among students in the hall, with that morning's new issue of The Stampede. Before accepting the position, he read the online version of the student newspaper to learn about the school population. (Alex Vinci '11/THE STAMPEDE)

McNamara Announces Next Principal

By Alexis Jenkins ’11

Staff Writer

As the freshmen settled in to listen to the WMAC morning news this past Thursday, several students repeatedly “Sshhh-ed” each other and asked Mrs. Palmer to turn up the television. The day had begun like usual, same uniforms, same teachers, and same energy in the hallways. But it all changed when two men appeared on the monitor, one familiar and the other unknown: one was Mr. Marco Clark, current principal, and the other was the next principal of Bishop McNamara High School.

The name of Mr. Michael Hunt sounded in every classroom that morning, when he was introduced as our soon-to-be principal. From forty inquiries, to twenty-five applications, to Mr. Clark’s ten interviews and three finalists, it was now down to one.

Earlier that morning, Mr. Hunt was introduced to the faculty and staff during a short meeting in the Fine Arts Theater. “It is an absolute honor and pleasure to be working with you,” he said when he took the podium to address the faculty, after an introduction from Mr. Clark that made his qualifications seem endless.

Mr. Hunt currently works at Wheaton High School but has previously been a part of Loiederman Middle School, Paint Branch High School, and Suitland High School. Aside from his previous social studies teaching and administrative work, he boasts of being a native of Washington D.C. and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

Although he admits teaching was not his first career track, he says it is by far his most fulfilling. To the faculty and staff he said “I love kids. My original plan was to be rich by twenty-one, didn’t work out. I started volunteering with kids, decided to go to the military wanted to be a hero, didn’t work. I started working with kids.” From there he decided to get his education degree.

In between the meeting with faculty and his introduction to students on WMAC, Mr. Hunt gave some time to reporters from The Stampede. Mr. Hunt said he first heard about the position as a rumor. He was told that the position came open and later received confirmation from the Archdiocese of Washington’s superintendent. After fifteen years of working in public schools he decided to pursue the application process. Having grown up with a Catholic school education himself, he felt one thing missing in public schools was the mission of the heart. “It was great working in public school education, but it was time to come back to Catholic school education,” Mr. Hunt said. He explained his feeling that public schools are focused on the diploma, but here you can also teach students to be a person of goodness.

After a morning of exciting announcements, the entire school was abuzz with reaction, mostly positive. Student council officers talked in their library homeroom, like Eric Darnell simply stating upon Mr. Hunt’s arrival, “That’s awesome!” or sophomore Alex Perry’s proclamation, “He looks like my dad.”

In the cafeteria, instead of the freshmen “Sshh-ing” each other they now had plenty to say. Ms. Palmer in the Cafe exclaimed “He looks like a fine, outstanding leader. Already being educated in the Holy Cross [tradition], he knows what we’re looking for…He seems to be taking an honest interest in our school community.”

Down in the 100’s, Mr. Justin McClain ’00 in his homeroom said, “I’m very pleased. It seems he has lots of educational leadership. He seems to know a lot about technology and how to use it effectively in the schools and with the students.” When asked how he intends to get to know the students, Mr. Hunt replied “That’s easy. Being from New Orleans, I have a big family.” Next year he will be quite far from the South but will gain 900 plus relatives here in Forestville.

Click on photos for full-size and caption.

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