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Shadiow ready to step up as Waldron principal

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

Mark Shadiow has known for a long time his leadership skills could translate well in a high school building.

But Shadiow, who turned 31 last month, didn’t expect to become a high school principal so soon.

The former assistant principal and athletic director at Waldron Jr/Sr. High School was named the principal at a special meeting last week in which Morristown Jr/Sr. High School also found a new principal in Jeremy Powers.

“This is something I’ve known I wanted to do,” Shadiow said in his temporary office as construction began in the front office on Monday. “Wasn’t planning on it happening so soon, but it’s just kind of worked out. The world works in a funny way, I guess.”

Shadiow knew as early as his days in high school that he wanted to be an administrator in education.

Several family members, including his father, worked in that field and his experiences as a student at New Palestine High School as an office helper in the athletic department and at Indiana University steered him in that direction. His father taught in Indianapolis Public Schools for 31 years, where he was also a coach and his aunt and uncle taught at North Central (Indianapolis).

His dad was a big influence, Shadiow said.

Shadiow has been at Waldron the past four years as the assistant principal and athletic director. As the assistant, his focus was mostly on discipline and attendance. The athletic director position took up a lot of time.

Now in the new position, his focus will be more as an instructional leader.

He wants to help teachers meet the needs of their students and find ways to help students improve academically.

Knowing the building, the school’s culture and the people will help starting out, he said.

“I think that the biggest thing is getting buy in from the teachers and the staff,” he said. “They have a lot of great ideas too, of some things maybe they want to work on. The biggest thing for me going forward, I want to improve opportunities for students to be invested in the school and really take some ownership of what we’re doing at Waldron.”

One area he wants to improve is opportunities for junior high students. Aside from athletics, band and choir, those students don’t have many options outside of their academics. He wants to expand that.

“Even having more connections with adults in the building,” he said of what he wants to accomplish. “I think if you have those connections at a level other than being a student at a desk, you’re more likely to have a better experience, a more well-rounded experience in high school.”

Shadiow and the rest of the staff in the front office moved out as a result of the construction, which they hope to be done in time for the start of the school year.

Sitting in an otherwise empty classroom along with school counselor Whitney Moore, Shadiow said he wanted to look at the school’s vision and mission in his first year.

“The biggest thing is making the school a great experience for kids, somewhere where they want to be and somewhere where they have connections with adults in the building because I think that’s going to help everyone really thrive here,” he said.