By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
With 30 years experience as a teacher and administrator, there’s not a whole lot that keeps John Honey up at night when it comes to the day-to-day operations of a high school.
That’s changed in recent weeks knowing he’s to become the planning principal for Salem-Keizer’s new Career Technical Education School.
“It’s rejuvenating a bit. I love and enjoy the community and students at McNary, but there’s not a whole lot that’s surprising. I don’t lie awake and wonder what will happen tomorrow here, but with this new opportunity, I’m already lying awake at night coming up with questions we haven’t asked yet,” Honey said.
The CTE school will be tasked to work with local industry representatives to graduate students prepared for high-demand, high-wage jobs.
Honey was reassigned from North Salem High School to McNary in 2010 and will continue as McNary’s principal through the first semester of the 2014-15 school year when his replacement will take the reins. He’ll continue working from an office at McNary on the CTE planning at least through the end of the school year.
“Our assistant principal Sue Smith retired this year, so the plan is to replace her with an associate principal who will move into my office when I transition out. Then, the district will hire a new assistant principal,” Honey said.
The plan is to make the new hire for an associate principal as soon as possible.
Honey will remain a leader in the effort to install a new turf field at MHS, but the change pushes up the window.
“We were planning on trying to have everything ready to go in April, but I’m hoping we can move that up to February. I think it’s within reason to have all of our funding and large in-kind donations squared away. That will mean it’s just a matter of small issues after that,” he said.
One of the biggest additions to McNary in Honey’s time with the Celtics was an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training program that will enter its third year this fall.
“Last year, we started working toward JROTC students earning dual credit in that program and I hope that continues,” Honey said.
If all goes according to plan, it means students enrolled in JROTC electives might be able to earn a small amount of additional credit in other subjects like science, social studies or physical education while part of the JROTC program.
Honey also hopes to see students, faculty and staff doing their part to return the favors done by members of the community at large.
“When I got here, I felt like McNary did a great job of accepting help from the community, but I’d like see McNary reach out to the community more, and not just with an open hand,” he said.
He cited numerous ways in which students have volunteered in community efforts from eradicating weeds in local parks to assisting during the Iris Festival.
“The one thing I hope people don’t think is that I’m walking away from McNary due to frustration. The one thing I haven’t done in my career is open a new school. Getting the opportunity to try something new at the end of a career is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Honey said.