When Jeffrey Wales saw a posting for an open principal position in Mineral County, he was quick to respond with his resume. With a chance to be back in an environment working directly with kids again, Wales saw this rural community as a plus which synchronized with his background.
Raised in a rural lifestyle and joining the Air Force gave him a reason to experience a wider world. When that career had completed, he was in Minot, N.D.; a town that boasted over 40,000 people as the fourth largest city within the state. Historically built by the Great Northern Railway, this town had seen remarkable growth in a quick period of time which penned the nickname “The Magic City”.
As a young man, his sites were not on living in an area that experienced 68 below weather conditions so he left for schooling elsewhere with the excuse of “freezing was the reason” and went on to secure a master’s degree with the University of Phoenix.
Wales predominantly taught music as an instructor, with an emphasis on band. He has the desire to expand into an after-school music venture, so the high school students can continue a growth within music until a full time music teacher can be hired to fill the current, on-going opening posted on the district website.
His Nevada teaching has brought him to Pahrump, Yerington, Reno and now Hawthorne. His wife is a special education teacher completing her work in the Reno area as his daughter completes her high school education with her peers.
His most recent position was within the Department of Education in Carson, which immersed him into the true structure of the educational processes and political roots of education.
“I have a vision and a great staff to accomplish these plans. My heart is to graduate every student, maximize their potential and tap into education that is community specific. Not every student wants a four year college degree and many are suited with talents beyond academics. We need to provide that foundation – especially in a rural atmosphere, which includes training skills that create self-sustaining individuals which will become our next adult generation to positively contribute to their own community.”
A collaborative effort is being set among the teachers, staff and adult education. Wales has seen so many positives already in place, with a grant writer, the JAG program (Jobs for American Graduates), plus positive attitudes and ideas on the table. Initiating this excitement has already begun, as this new principal embraced an appreciation that the groundwork had already been laid for success.
“It is a new era in education. You will find that it goes through waves of change and governmental involvement, but the bottom line is that each school, every home and our community differs in what they can do to actively participate. We all need to see that their schools succeed. This is a community effort – not to be taken lightly or with disregard. The layers of education encompass so much and yet the forte of all of our adult responsibility is truly about the kids.”