New assistant principals at Woodbury's two high schoolsBoth Woodbury and East Ridge high school have new assistant principals. WHS’ new assistant principal is Rob Bach, formerly assistant principal at Park High School, and East Ridge’s new assistant principal is Trent Hanson, former activities director for East Ridge.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Both schools have new assistant principals – WHS’ new assistant principal is Rob Bach, formerly assistant principal at Park High School, and East Ridge’s new assistant principal is Trent Hanson, former activities director for East Ridge.
“Change is good,” Bach said. “That is how we all grow.”
Both Bach and Hanson started in their positions earlier this summer.
Bach is replacing Sara Sorensen-Wagner, who took an assistant principal position at PHS and Hanson is replacing Dennis Roos, who retired at the end of the last school year. Becoming an educator kind of fell into the lap of Bach, who had previously studied chemistry at St. Olaf College.
While in college, Bach, who lives in Woodbury, found himself helping peers in the classroom and on the athletic field.
“I didn’t know when I first stepped foot on campus I would want to be a teacher,” he said. “But eventually it kind of just came naturally to me.
“I enjoyed the feeling when students got something thanks to your involvement – it’s a powerful thing.”
Bach worked as a science teacher at PHS for 15 years before becoming the assistant principal five years ago.
“I love teaching – I was in no hurry whatsoever to get out of the classroom,” he said. “But administration just represented something different – I was eager to learn a little bit more and grow a little bit more.”
All of Bach’s teaching experience has been at PHS.
Last year, he was approached with the opportunity of moving to WHS, while Sorensen-Wagner moved to PHS, as a way to allow different opportunities.
“They were interested in giving certain administrators different experiences – some different growth opportunities,” he said. “I think people felt that giving me a different experience would help grow and broaden out my experience.”
Bach said he was excited about the WHS opportunity.
“Woodbury High School has a ton of great things going for it,” he said.
At WHS, Bach will be responsible for monitoring attendance, student discipline and teacher observation, much like he did at PHS.
However a few differences in Bach’s job description include overseeing the college and career readiness initiative and working with the student achievement specialists.
Bach said he feels he can bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to his new position.
“I’m looking forward to sitting down with teachers to talk about the art of teaching – I think that is a strength of mine,” he said. “I have things that I can share with teachers to help enhance their teaching and I’m looking forward to learning from teachers here.”
Continuing to grow
Hanson, who has worked as East Ridge’s activities director for the past three years, said he was interested in the assistant principal position because it would allow him to continue to grow.
“It’s really an opportunity to influence kids and families in a different and unique way,” he said. “And, I was really passionate about it happening here at East Ridge.”
Before coming to East Ridge, Hanson, who lives in Hastings, had previously taught health and physical education at Hastings High School, where he also worked as the school’s boys basketball coach.
Hanson said he was drawn to a career in education because both his mother and grandmother were teachers.
“I’m fortunate enough to be a third generation public educator,” he said. “Education was always part of my life growing up.”
In his new position as assistant principal Hanson will be responsible for student attendance, student discipline, providing teacher support and working as a liaison or supervisor for various groups and departments.
“That will be a unique dynamic,” he said. “That’s very different from the day to day of an AD.”
Hanson said he is very excited about his new position at East Ridge.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to build relationships with people,” he said. “It really starts with our students – knowing them, understanding them.”
Hanson said it is a little intimidating replacing a longtime educator like Roos.
“There’s certain things I’ll be expected to reproduce,” he said. “I want to make sure I continue to be myself and grow and get better just as we expect the kids to do.”
Bach and Hanson said they are both eagerly awaiting the first day of school.
“It’s the highlight day of the year every year,” Hanson said. “There’s just nothing like the thrill of watching the kids come back.”