Mr. Jason Stipp, Principal at Waubonsie Valley High School, was kind enough to take time to talk with us about his role at WVHS. Principal Stipp started his current position in 2012 and has been working hard to both keep up and enhance Waubonsie’s reputation as one of the best high schools in the nation.
Principal Jason Stipp Interview
What attracted you to working at Waubonsie?
The name and reputation of Waubonsie and IPSD 204 were very attractive. The rich history here at this school, as well as being a part of the district as a parent were also major attractions.
Has it been what you thought it would be?
Yes, and more. The staff, community and, most importantly, the students have been accepting of me and supportive in the work we have taken on.
What are some aspects of the school and school district that you enjoy most?
Seeing the students compete in activities, athletics, and in the classroom. They work hard in preparing themselves for their future goals. I am always proud to see them shine.
How do you think Waubonsie is perceived as compared to some of the other high schools in the district?
Being the “Original Valley” we carry much of the history of the district. I think we are perceived as a school with great tradition and spirit. Most of our high school staff has spent some time being a part of this building in some form, so we are always aware of our deep connections.
Is there anything about that perception that you’d like to change?
I think we are very confident in our school, students and community. After going through the addition of two high schools, we are mindful of those difficult transitions. What we lack at times in regards to physical structure of our building in some areas, is made up for by supporting a close knit school community that supports one another and wants the best for all those involved.
What are some of the strongest programs that Waubonsie has to offer?
The academic offerings of IPSD204 is very competitive and strong when compared to other curriculums in the nation. Time after time we are told by our students leaving us that they are prepared for college and career choices. The other strength is that in being “smaller” there are many opportunities for students to compete and excel at many of our activities and athletic contests.
Are there any major programs/initiatives you can disclose regarding improvements that Waubonsie is pursuing?
We are adding many new upgrades to our building through monies recently received from the state. These are things we are sorely in need of; a new chiller, doors and other aesthetic items. These upgrades help to keep our building current and more conducive to learning.
If a parent is moving to the area from out of town, why should they feel great about their child attending Waubonsie?
First, because of the Pride, Tradition and Spirit our school offers. I feel comfortable that this parent could speak with any of our parents or students and they would see what Waubonsie means to our community. I am told our building feels more like a family. Our staff are sincere in making sure students practice integrity, accountability, respect and perseverance as we help support them through their young adult life. Our school offers this, along with a rigorous curriculum that puts our students in a position to succeed after graduation. This is a great school with a dedicated staff, serving an amazing community with outstanding students.
(photo credit: Brian Powers, Sun-Times Media)