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Meet Principal Dr. Maclin

Even though he’s earned the title of “Doctor,” Principal Michael Maclin isn’t in education for the notoriety. According to him, “I’m just here for the kids.” Dr. Maclin is passionate about helping children and humble about his achievements, which include being recognized with an Excellence in Education award and being named the 2017 Educator of the Year for the state of Missouri.
 
Dr. Maclin was first inspired to become an educator through his high school guidance counselor. “He had a huge impact on my life when I was 17 and 18, and I saw how he helped other kids, too. I wanted to become a guidance counselor myself, to work with kids, be responsive to available services, and really solve problems. I wanted to have that same kind of impact in the lives of students.”
 
Dr. Maclin attended Missouri Baptist University throughout his entire education – earning everything from undergrad through doctorate degrees on a single campus. “It was great to be somewhere I really liked to work through my programs.”
 
After completing his education, Dr. Michael Maclin began his educational career as a teacher and then transitioned into the role of guidance counselor. At the encouragement of his superintendent at the time, he began to consider administration and leadership. He later became an assistant principal and coordinator of programming, then went on to become a middle school principal for nine years at a district that was one point away from losing accreditation. Today they’re the only national model school in the Midwest. He then became a high school principal, then coordinator of alternative programming for a very large school district before joining us at NHA.
 
Dr. Maclin’s approach to education is “servanthood first.” He believes the best leaders understand servitude and caring for others. When helping kids, “I believe that if we answer a ‘411’ when it comes, we won’t have the ‘911.’ The problem is when we don’t pay attention. We have to serve our students and staff. I also believe in helping students do two things really well: inquire and advocate. Inquiry as it relates to learning and reasoning, in other words, cultivating a healthy curiosity, and advocating for their own learning – seeking the best of anything in life.”
 
Even though he’s only recently joined us at River City Scholars, Dr. Maclin’s excited about our community culture. “We have a culture that’s conducive to learning, it’s student-friendly. I believe River City has the hardest working teachers I’ve ever seen in my years of education. They go the extra mile to make sure we’re successfully caring and loving. But we’re also a community of high expectations. We don’t believe in lowering them for our students, we believe all students can rise to meet them. We offer a lot of wrap-around services, meaning we celebrate the whole child. Our social workers also provide mentors for students and provide the pieces of real-world learning experiences. It’s easy to find followers, but it’s hard to find leaders. I can’t say enough about the solid foundation that Principal Hillary laid here. She hired the right people.”
 
Outside of his time at school, Dr. Maclin enjoys reading and spending time with his three kids ages 7, 5, and 2. “They keep me pretty busy doing the things that kids those ages like to do – playing with inflatables, having picnics, going to the park, and having tea parties.”