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Lake View High School Principal Says He'll Focus on Community, Transparency

By Mina Bloom | July 7, 2014 8:34am
 The Lake View High School LSC unanimously voted Scott Grens as the school's new principal.
The Lake View High School LSC unanimously voted Scott Grens as the school's new principal.
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DNAinfo/Jack Mongan

LAKEVIEW — After a contentious 2013-2014 school year, administrators at Lake View High School are ready to start fresh in August with a new principal and a few new goals. 

“Schools are designed for communities,” said newly appointed principal Scott Grens. “The community’s interested in [engagement] and we’re designed to serve them. It’s time to take advantage of that to meet their needs,” he said.

Last week, Grens was offered a contract after his divisive predecessor Lilith Werner left abruptly in April. Right away, he told the local school council that he would focus on engaging with the greater Lakeview community and being more transparent.

After serving as interim principal, Grens, who taught English at Lake View High School for three years, was unanimously elected principal.

Grens talked about instilling a culture of “sweat, labor and love” where teachers, faculty and students engage with the community without spending a lot of money.

Janice Horwich, who represents the Graceland West Community Association Council, said she hopes to  re-establish a closer relationship with the school now that Grens is on board.

“We’re off to a flying start,” said Horwich, adding that Grens is slated to speak at the neighborhood group's next meeting.

The meeting, which will take place on July 14 at 1426 W. Warner Ave., is primarily a meet-and-greet “to give families and Scott a chance to get to know each other.”

“We’ve had wonderful relationships with Lake View High School in the past, and we’re really excited about what’s happening here,” Horwich said.

Grens also said he wanted to improve fundraising efforts, and pointed to community event #GROWLakeView as a way to help do that.

The #GROWLakeView event on July 10 aims to teach community members how to work together as a team to fund community-driven events, Grens said.

As for transparency, Grens said he plans to provide council members with a more detailed explanation of how the school budget is formed. Council member and parent representative Mark Reynolds mentioned that the previous administration spent school funds on plastic plants for the principal’s office, and he thought the money could’ve been better spent.

Grens responded: “Your expenditures are going to be done in the sole interest of children.”

The evaluation process will also be overhauled, Grens said, admitting that the school has struggled with them in the past.

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