Dorst prepares for new responsibility with school transitions

Sophia Comas, Sports Editor

With great challenge comes great opportunity for current sophomore principal Michael Dorst, who uses that philosophy every day to make sure he’s always at his best.

Dorst, who was selected to be the new building principal last month, is already planning for the next step of facing those challenges, saying that each one leads to an opportunity for growth and improvement.

“We have done a great job making a great school for thousands of kids over the years,” Dorst said. “We are really getting out of our comfort zone and trying to make sure we see every single kid and make this a great school, a great experience for every kid.”

Although his transition to the head of the school won’t be free of change, Dorst wants to make school life as manageable as possible for students, staff and parents alike. Rather than change current school policies to completely new ones, he is deciding to take what they already have and build upon it.

“The components that we have right now are really the things that are going to make Manhattan High School successful for all kids,” Dorst said. “That’s why we have them. It’s not a checkbox.”

Specifically, Dorst wants to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to learn effectively along with having a solid foundation for what they plan on doing after high school. While some students have taken advantage of things such as Naviance and the Individual Plans of Study, others are less inclined to do so, something Dorst wants to change.

“In areas that we can grow, reflect back and say ‘do we offer things that our students need and if not what are the things, what are the classes, what are the pathways we can add in the future that can benefit kids?’” Dorst said. “We’ve done that over the last 10 years and we’ve been really good at identifying those things.”

As for more physical challenges, Dorst has prepared himself to handle all changes following the district bond referendum, which will include a complete reconstruction of A Hall to accomodate the incoming freshmen who will be permanently moved to the West Campus.

“When we bring the campuses together and we have one group of students and one group of staff not spread out on two campuses, those are opportunities and that’s what I think we have to focus our energy on,” Dorst said. “To do only one more transition into high school I think is going to increase our ability to develop those relationships with students.”

Most importantly, Dorst is excited to begin working with everyone involved in the school and is striving for the success of every student and teacher who walks in these halls.

“I look forward to being in a position where I have more opportunities to get to know our students in a different way and our community members to help increase the value of education at Manhattan High,” Dorst said. “Increased opportunity is exciting — anxious, absolutely anxious — but I’m looking forward to it and just seeing the result of the great opportunities we have at Manhattan High.”