NEW PARIS — Mike Eyler is the new National Trail Middle School Principal for the 2017-2018 school year, replacing Mark Wiseman who has retired.
Eyler was formerly a high school English teacher and wrestling coach at the school.
According to Eyler, he was inspired to be an administrator by his father, who was one himself. Eyler has had his principal’s license since 2014, and when he saw an opportunity, he took it.
“I was interested in becoming an administrator,” he said. “So when the position became available I thought it would be a good idea. It’s not the same building I taught in, but it’s the same community and that mattered a lot to me. I took the risk and applied. I went through the interview process and it all seemed to work out.”
Eyler taught at National Trail for eight years. He taught 11th and 12th grades originally, then expanded to Publications and Creative Writing. He eventually moved on to teaching the College Credit-Plus classes: Intro to Literature, Fiction Writing, and Composition I and II.
He added, “I really enjoyed that, enjoyed interacting with the students and talking with them and helping them figure out the next step in their lives. I was also a senior class advisor a couple times, I was student council advisor, did National Honor Society for a year, and I coached as well. It was nice being able to be involved in all of that stuff.”
Eyler sees being a principal as being vastly different than teacher because of the lack of a set teaching schedule. “There’s going to be a lot of unpredictable things happening and that appealed to me. I don’t like having to do the same thing day in and day out. It’s going to be interesting trying to help my staff do everything that they want to do and excel – to meet the needs of a community that I really care about and that I’ve grown up around,” he said.
“It also gives me an opportunity to reach more kids,” he added. “I don’t necessarily get every student. So I’ll be able to help impact their education and their future lives, things like that.”
As for goals for his new position, he hopes to keep the school growing and thriving. The school is actively adding new classes and programs and he hopes to continue that. “I obviously want to see our academics go up, that’s always the main focus. I’d like to see more parent involvement and figure out ways to get them in to see what we’re doing, so that they can help out and be a part of that as well.
“I think National Trail has done a good job as being a positive force in the community. That’s a big deal to me because the schools are a community center, we need to be sure that we are serving them and bringing them together as well,” he said.
Eyler was approved as Wiseman’s replacement in April, but his position is technically for the 2017-2018 school year. His official first day is Aug. 1. In the meantime, he has been working with Wiseman to make the transition smooth. Currently, he is getting ready for the upcoming school year, which he says has made him very busy as he is working to hire several new teachers.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with the elementary principal and the high school principal,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with the Superintendent. I’ve really spent a lot of time with Mark Wiseman, getting his thoughts and learning the culture. I’ve spoken to nearly every staff member about what they would like to see improve and about what has worked. That’s something that I’m not familiar with. I taught in the same building, but I was in a different wing.”
He added, he wanted to be National Trail’s Middle School Principal because he loves the community. “I see the positives people take from this school and I see the positives that we have given as a school district,” he said. “I want to continue elevating that. I think that’s something that National Trail has done very well over the past eight to 10 years, is consistently innovate and improve. That is my goal here.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH