After faithfully serving Mason City Schools for 11 years and fulfilling the duties of the principal of William Mason High School for the past six years, Mindy McCarty-Stewart will resign her position to pursue a new challenge in her hometown as the principal of Wilmington High School.
According to McCarty-Stewart, she wasn’t looking for such a change but was approached with the opportunity. Though it is difficult to part away from Mason High School, she hopes to give back to her hometown and community and feels that is in the best interest of her family, McCarty-Stewart said.
“I was not looking for a change,” McCarty-Stewart said. “In my hometown, in the school district I used to work for and where my family goes, I was contacted by the superintendent asking whether I would be interested in coming back and supporting them as their high school principal because the position just opened up. I gave it a lot of consideration, and it was very difficult, but in my heart, I felt it was good. And I thought it would be good for my family and an opportunity to help a school district I love and a community I love.”
Due to her resignation, Mason City Schools is scouting for a new principal to fill her shoes, McCarty-Stewart said.
“The leadership here has recently posted that the position is available,” McCarty-Stewart said. “It will be a very rigorous process in terms of selecting and interviewing the next Mason High School principal. That is not yet determined, but they are researching, and they are committed to finding the best fit to be the next high school principal here.”
According to McCarty-Stewart, Mason High School’s biggest success is itself. The ability to have a talented and wonderful student body who really care about each other is astounding, McCarty-Stewart said.
“There are so many individual student success stories, but I think as a building the largest success is the ability to have a wonderful high school with people that care a lot about each other (even in) the largest high school,” McCarty-Stewart said. “By placing staff in place that really care about the students, we have continued to grow in a positive direction through a rapid growth is a huge success.”
Throughout her years at MHS, the biggest change that she has witnessed is all the new additions, McCarty-Stewart said.
“The biggest change is adding new additions,” McCarty-Stewart said. “Specifically the building change. I was a big part of that. The Z pod and the additional cafeteria space, the partnership with Atrium, seeing that was kind of the physical changes I witnessed. I was part of the growth, so I was fortunate to be part of hiring the staff. The advances in technology in and incorporating that (are another change). We and the teachers have worked hard to provide (courses), like the integrated media course, Computer Programming, CAD (Computer Aided Design), and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing).”
According to McCarty-Stewart, she hopes her biggest impact on Mason High School is her kindness and compassion for people. She feels like her leadership style has motivated the staff and allowed them to flourish and express their creativity, McCarty-Stewart said.
“I would hope that the impact I have left on Mason High School is just my true compassion for people,” McCarty-Stewart said. “I have worked hard to do my best to give a personal touch and support the staff here, empowering their leadership because they are so talented; they are so creative and such great experts in their field. Hopefully, I have established a leadership style that has helped them flourish, and I have such a deep respect to the partnership with parents and the engagement we have with our parents.”
According to McCarty-Stewart, her biggest regret is not getting to know each and every student in MHS.
“My only biggest regret is that it is hard to get to know each individual student,” McCarty-Stewart said. “All 3,400 of you (students). Certainly, it has been a joy watching each student come through Mason High School.”
As she moves onto Wilmington High School, she will miss all the little things that make up the culture of Mason High School, McCarty-Stewart said.
“I will absolutely miss the interactions; I will miss the little things when the band walks through the hallways and plays the fight song,” McCarty-Stewart said. “I will miss the Black Hole and cheering each other on and the level of support that students make and the leadership in student government. The list goes on. All these things will be hard to walk away from.”