By: Jimmy Kapinos
“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.” These words from Jason Sudeikes's titular character Ted Lasso can be said about all students on their high school journey. But the same philosophy also applies to the way all teachers and staff approach their work, including Hastings-Hauf herself, who began her third year as Glenelg's principal. I sat down with her to ask questions that may be on students' minds.
Each year you have introduced a theme to define the school year. What is your theme this year and how does it relate to the staff and students?
"The theme is around the idea of belief as it relates to the TV series Ted Lasso, where an American football coach is hired to coach soccer in England and knows nothing about the sport but is able to coach them because he believes that if everyone gives it their all then there isn't anything the team can’t do. If students and staff give it their all and really dedicate themselves, then anything is possible!"
How did your career as an educator start?
“I started out as an English major and was against the idea of being a teacher coming out of high school. But after taking psychology in college I switched my major and fell in love with the idea of teaching."
Where did you first start teaching? And what led you to becoming an administrator?
“I first started teaching English at Adirondack High School in New York. Once I moved to Maryland, I taught at Bonnie Branch Middle School, then at Marriotts Ridge High School. I continued as an administrator at Howard, Long Reach, and Centennial high schools before coming to Glenelg."
What are some things that you feel students should take more seriously?
“It's important to build relationships with teachers and to have good communication skills. I would like to see students advocate for themselves and not feel like they can't seek help. I also think it's important to lean on support to make sure students don't lose who they are. There's is nothing more valuable and rewarding than staying true to yourself and who you are as a person."
Moving forward, what is your vision for the future of Glenelg?
“To continue to support an atmosphere where staff and faculty feel like they can continue to learn alongside students, where each has the opportunity to be open and honest with what the school needs. I want all of us to work together to better accommodate the students, class, and school, and to be adaptive and in tune with all students and the faculty as things change in the future, and to maintain that environment moving forward."
What advice would you give new college students who want to do well in school?
“Find out the type of learner that you are and you will thrive in college. Make and follow a schedule for studying and other aspects of college life, and don't be hesitant to try new things. That's how we improve and the relationships/bonds you build in college among peers and facility are going to be especially important.”