New Principal values life at home

Georgia Wimmer, Wired Co-Editor-In-Chief

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opperman2-900x592After a long school day, Jay Opperman, current principal at Hastings High School and soon-to-be principal at Westside, puts down the pen and picks up the whistle as he steps out onto the soccer field to coach his daughter. Being a coach to his 11-year-old daughter is just one example of how being a dad and a coach relates to his job as principal.

“I’ve coached a lot of years, I’ve coached a lot of seasons,” Opperman said

Along with coaching his children, Opperman was also the high school girls soccer coach at Hastings. He held that coaching position during some of his time of teaching from 1990-1999. Although Opperman’s team never won a state title, his coaching experience gave him a more diversified approach to teaching and being a principal.

“I’ve coached a lot of soccer and then with my two boys I coached a lot of youth baseball, I actually think that helped in a way because I guess I know more kids in a closer way. Especially in the class a lot of teams are in. But I guess students see me in a different way other than just principal. I’m actually human,” Opperman said.

Coaching isn’t the only part of Opperman’s life that gives him a more versatile approach to his job. His experience as a dad also gives him a deeper understanding of the parents and kids he works with.

“I think as a parent when you have your own kid, you experience them going through school… [it] gives you perspective for parents and for other kids and how the school impacts families. I think it’s more than just the job it’s also management and understanding and helping parents navigate school,” Opperman said.