LAKEVILLE – Challenging times have brought new challenges to someone who’s used to them.
LaVille’s Michael Edison has started his first year as principal at the high school in the middle of a pandemic. Just another day at the office.
“Obviously this year is presenting some new challenges,” he said. “I’m excited about it. This is a great community, and there are a lot of great people to work with here. I’m looking forward to it.”
Edison is a mainstay at LaVille as a very successful (182-97 record) basketball coach of over 10 years and for the last seven years as the school’s assistant principal. It’s a background that has helped prepare him for the new challenges.
“The opportunity presented itself and I saw it as a great opportunity,” he said. “I had a lot of great mentors including Nate McKeand who was principal before me. When he went to Triton I felt prepared. He was a really good role model for me.”
Edison enters a club (Principal/Head Basketball Coach) that is very unique at least in the state of Indiana.
“Jeff Brooke at Pioneer is the principal and head girls basketball coach,” said Edison. “I don’t really know of that combination at a whole lot of other schools.”
The challenges for the new year are unprecedented for veteran administrators and for a “rookie” they could seem daunting. For a seasoned basketball coach, however, those challenges aren’t that unusual.
“I’m just trying to be as flexible as we can be and learn from other peers dealing with the same thing,” he said. “This is a situation that changes every day – at times it seems like every minute – and we just have to be sure that we still provide everybody a quality education and do whatever we have to to keep everybody safe – students, teachers, everybody.”
“We’re constantly meeting from week to week and dealing with all the curveballs that keep getting thrown at us,” he said. “We just have to focus on the things that we can have control of and take care of that.”
“It’s been challenging but I know it hasn’t been my most challenging day yet,” said Edison.
Experience is a great teacher and Edison feels his experience has helped him.
“I spent seven years as assistant principal and I feel like that helped me a lot,” said Edison. “I was able to develop good relationships with teachers. I was able to see things from a lot of different perspectives. We have a lot of great teachers and parents that have made that an enjoyable experience. It makes it a situation where we can talk about things and come to solutions.”
“I feel like I had a chance to get to know all our students before but now that’s certain,” he said. “I’m the kind of person who likes to know every student’s name and talking to them personally. We are a smaller school so that gives me a good chance to do that.”
“I loved teaching, I loved being assistant principal,” said Edison. “We have such a great staff here with lots of talent and experience, I feel like we learn from each other. I feel like we are a really good team.”
Juggling the responsibilities of the high profile job, especially in Indiana, as head basketball coach and the high profile job, anywhere, as principal is a challenge but it’s that team that gives Edison confidence in meeting that challenge.
“It is great when you are surrounded by strong people that you know you can count on,” he said. “My job as principal has to be my first priority and there are going to be times when I have to wear two different hats.”
“I feel like you have to focus on the task at hand and there will be times that I have to deal with things that a principal has to deal with and I’ll have to trust my assistant coaches to run things when I’m called away,” said Edison.
“In everything you have to be as positive as you can be,” he said. “You have to be there for people, you have to listen to people, and you have to rely on your people.”
Story Compliments of Rusty Nixon, The Pilot News