By Linda Titel
Shiocton Middle/High School has a new principal. His name is Nick Ortlieb. He’s no stranger to the Shiocton High School, Ortlieb has been the high school math teacher for the last six years and also acted as the designee for the previous Principal Kelly Zeinert.
Ortlieb had taught high school math for two years in White Lake before he came to Shiocton.
Ortlieb said he would like to make a higher level difference on what goes on in the school. He said, “You can make a difference as a teacher with individual students and classes, you can reach out beyond that, but there is something about that structural change a principal can make that appealed to me.”
Ortlieb said that society is so different from five, ten years ago and he thinks it’s important that the school has a solid leader in that structural role to steer the district in the right direction as those changes occur.
Ortlieb has had past experience working as principal when Zeinert was out of the office for principal conferences, appointments or meetings.
Ortlieb said he is looking forward to involving parents with the school, especially now when so much is expected from the students and things such as mental health issues arise. He would like to see more parent involvement in the school through communication and positive reinforcement. He would like to see more parents at extra and co-curricular activities and in school sports so they can witness what a great school Shiocton is for their children.
The goals that he envisions for his first year are: 1. To get through his first year of being the principal with all its challenges. 2. To begin a program called “Collective Efficacy,” a group of teachers and staff working together, brainstorming with each other, receiving and giving criticism and improving the structure, which will take years.
“Collective Efficacy is the biggest thing in education,” said Ortlieb. “The relationship between teachers where they can feel comfortable and take risks to improve overall education.”
Over time Ortlieb would like to connect to the students who plan not to attend a college, so that Shiocton can be a pipeline for the construction workers, masonry workers, steel workers and other vocational trades. These jobs are currently in high demand. So, when a trade company is looking for someone to start an apprenticeship, the Shiocton graduate will be ready.
Ortlieb lives in Appleton with his wife, Marcella and 3 year old daughter Zoe. The family plans to move to Neenah in the near future.
Ortlieb said, “I am excited to be at Shiocton, I know the families, students and staff and everyone is very supportive of one another. I am looking forward to the new school year.”