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Berti tackles new role in stride

Will Berti takes student advice and becomes assistant principal

As the final question is asked and the pen stops writing, the interview comes to an end. With a final goodbye and the last handshake, the coffee smells seem more prominent as it’s now the only thing he notices. He pushes his chair in with his heart racing as he walks out and pulls out his phone to dial his wife. These are the thoughts as new assistant principal, Will Berti, walks out of his job interview. As the new school year was approaching, more and more things were beginning to change. One big change occurred when former assistant principal, Chris Billingslea, took a new opportunity at Dimondale Elementary. With one chapter closing in his story, a new one opened for Berti. “When Mr. B took that opportunity at Dimondale, an e-mail was sent out and it was kind of like something sparked in me that I didn’t know was there before.

"I get to see as a teacher only so little of the student body, where as an administrator, I already have the sense of being a parent of an entire community."

It was like there was this thing out there, and I really want it, and then finally, they were like ‘Okay, here have it.’ And it was like, ‘Oh my God, they gave it to me. I didn’t actually think that would happen,’” Berti said. Well known for providing a positive impact on students’ lives, Berti now sets out to accomplish more, not only for himself, but for the community. He now has a window to help teachers feel more comfortable, and a chance to be able to do what they want to do. As a former Algebra teacher, Berti has been given the job he strived to accomplish. Lots of factors went into Berti deciding if this was the right move for him, one of those being inspiration from his students. “There was a student last year in particular, that was kind enough to let me know that I had a positive impact on their life, that meant a lot,” said Berti. Although this moment was special to Berti, he still felt a little “handcuffed,” as he said, being a teacher. “I get to see, as a teacher, only so little of the student body, where as an administrator I already have the sense of being the parent of an entire community,” Berti said. Going from the role of teacher to one of the leaders of the school community, Berti now has lots of people looking up to him. He faces more pressure as the school years go on, and more people are impacted with the decisions he makes. But that doesn’t stop Berti from making sure he’s doing the best job he can do every day. “If I do things that are received well, then more people are happy. But again in the classroom and this office if I’m supportive of the decision I’m making, then I’m gonna try to sleep well at night.” said Berti. Having the whole school in the palm of your hand can get overwhelming, but Berti does his best to stay positive. Some may assume that with a harder position, there is more pressure, but Berti couldn’t be happier so far. “I love what I get to do. It has been hard work but it has been very rewarding, I’m really enjoying myself for sure,” said Berti.

Saying that Berti had been known by just the students from his math classes would be an understatement. Berti is known by more than half of the school, and now many parents as well, according to assistant principal Erin Quinlan, who was on the hiring board when they hired Berti. “That is a positive factor for him when taking the job...he had already built and established relationships with those students, staff, and those parents. He’s already built so many bridges with families that he’s never really come in contact with as a teacher,” said Quinlan. Many of Berti’s peers also think that he will do great at the new position including geometry teacher, Spencer Sullivan, who worked alongside Berti last year. “It may take time because it is a hard job, but in the end he will be excellent at it,” said Sullivan. Not only did Berti have an impact on his students, but he also influenced other teachers that he got to learn from and teach. With Berti and Sullivan working together, they had each gotten to learn many things from each other. “He taught me... when to stress and when to let something slide. I taught him the wonders of saving his work,” said Sullivan. With these things, Berti and Sullivan had created a effective work partnership. While working together, they both had a chance to inspire each other, and impact each other in different ways. Some of these impacts helped Berti on the path to inspiring more people. “Mr. Berti impacted me by reinforcing the importance of relationship with students,” said Sullivan. All of the connections Berti has, makes him an even better fit for the job. As well as his positive, energetic perspective which makes a better learning experience here at the high school. There are many goals that Berti now has being assistant principal, including making Holt High School the best it can be. Said Quinlan, “I think he’s well on his way to establishing himself as a terrific leader in our school, and in the community. I have no doubt that his energy and enthusiasm will continue to be felt throughout the school.”

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