LAKE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC– Over the past five years, LMC has had four new principals leave their mark on the school. While, James White entered the picture late into the summer, he already had big goals and high hopes for this simple Catholic School.
Mr. White comes to LMC from Marquette High School, in Michigan City, where he served as principal. Since he started his career in 1994, he has served a variety of different positions in his schools, but, with the exception of this year, he has always taught a class and experienced one-on-one time with his students.
Because of this knowledge of classroom lifestyle, he is confident in his skills and has developed specific beliefs of what turns a school into a well-oiled machine. With his extensive experience, he has learned that “when students and teachers have good relations with each other, everything runs fine.” This year he is hoping to incorporate and encourage this in classrooms and improve the atmosphere at LMC.
Although his time at the school has been brief, he is very impressed with the student body and found the environment very welcoming. This sense of family has given him high hopes.
“My time here has been short, but it has been very nice. I think the strength here is the kids. Of course there are great teachers here, but what really stuck out to me was the kids. They were scared at first, but once they got to know me, they were very outgoing and welcoming. They want to know more about me and I want to know more about them.”
In recent years, LMC has struggled with numbers, but fortunately, this problem is not a new one for Mr. White and he considers a top priority. His past school had an enrollment rate of 151 kids in highschool, but when he left, it had nearly doubled.
When asked about what plans he has for the school to increase enrollment, he had no shortage of ideas on what LMC can offer.
“We can’t compete with the fancy football fields and the Taj Mahals they’re building in schools nowadays, but our ‘Catholicity’ and approach to small class size make us stand out. We need to focus on keeping up the enrollment we currently have- a top priority- but we also want to broaden our horizons with an international program.”
White has hopes that we can incorporate study abroad programs and exchange programs at LMC. He says that in the future, an LMC student could travel as far as China and Spain, with minimal cost, to grow their educational experience.
This year alone, White is providing two opportunities for students to travel to France for a very low price. He is confident that these aspects of the school can help increase enrollment and he can add Lake Michigan Catholic to his list of success stories.
Although he is aware that these plans will take time, he knows that once the school begins to “treat the world as their classroom” with these international programs, enrollment will begin to rise for this small school.
It is apparent that LMC is in good hands with Mr. White and it is a hope of the faculty, parents, and students that daily attitudes at school will improve as they begin to incorporate the Laker Spirit with their new, strong leader.