By Kevin Kelley
For some people, high school was such an awful experience that they wouldn’t return to their high school building for a million dollars.
Not so for Mike May. The current Westlake High School assistant principal will return to his alma mater, Amherst High School, this fall to serve as principal.
“Obviously it’s a great responsibility,” May said of his new job. “I’m excited.”
It won’t be the first time May has returned to the halls of Amherst High. The 1995 graduate taught social studies and coached basketball there in 2006-07.
“Walking back into that environment as a professional – yes, that was different,” May recalled when asked what it was like teaching in the school he once attended.
“We had great school spirit,” May said of his high school.
May said his goals as principal will be keep that school spirit alive among current students and expand Amherst’s Advanced Placement curriculum.
The Westlake resident said he, his wife, Jessica, and their 14-month-old son plan on relocating to the Amherst area. May earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and a master’s degree in educational leadership.
May, in his fifth year as one of two assistant principals at Westlake High School, said the student body has been special because everyone is supportive of one another, a quality he attributes to Principal Tim Freeman.
Freeman said May has made a special effort to attend school events even when not assigned because he knows the importance of being visible and establishing a connection with students.
May will be the sixth assistant principal who worked under Freeman, either at Westlake or Avon Lake High School, to go on to serve as principal. The Westlake principal said he intentionally seeks out assistant principals who have the leadership qualities to be principals.
“I want somebody that wants my job,” Freeman said.
As of last week, the Westlake City Schools have received 100 applications for the assistant principal post May is leaving, Freeman said.
“People want to work in the Westlake community,” Freeman said of the interest in May’s job.