Keith Hartbauer, the new principal of Keystone Oaks High School, has
finished his first week of highschool, for the second time in his life.
Schooling has always been important to our new principal; Hartbauer
finished his high school career at Somerset Area High and then moved on to
Slippery Rock University to pursue a degree in Health Physical Education and
Athletic Training. Hartbauer also remained at the school for an additional year
to get his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and then moved on to Duquesne
University to get another Master's degree in School Administration. After those
degrees, our new principal didn’t think that was enough, so he returned to the
California University of Pennsylvania to work on his Superintendent’s
Certificate. Hartbauer has always used school as a way to stay up to date on
the most recent ways of teaching; he is currently back in school finishing up
his Doctorate in Advanced Leadership Studies. It helps to have your principal
be a student as well as an administrator!
Before the academic year started,
Mr. Hartbauer took the time to email the staff and teachers a survey to
understand how the school and students were run. Close to 90% of the staff addressed
this new form of communication with him and took the time to give him some idea
of what to expect from the students, the buildings, and changes that needed to
be made. So far, Mr. Hartbauer has made it clear that students and staff have
been extremely welcoming toward him and his new ideas.
Many students know about Hartbauer’s past as a football coach; so when
asked about how his coaching will influence his new administration he spoke
about how his past as a coach allows for goals to be set and accomplished.
He believes that a structured ‘game-plan’ ensures organization and
accountability in the school. Being a football coach allowed Mr. Hartbauer to
develop the skill to make snap decisions about how a play should be made, but
it also taught him to sometimes take his time and look at all of the options.
This is a new method of administration that Keystone Oaks has yet to
experience, but hopefully we will end our ‘season’ with him with a winning
Hartbauer has many goals for his
first year at the high school; by the end of the first quarter, he hopes that
everyone, students, teachers, staff, and himself, have acclimated to his
arrival. Hartbauer has asked all
teachers in the school to make objectives and warm-ups a part of their daily
class routine. By the end of the year, Mr. Hartbauer hopes to have addressed
all issues brought before him by students regarding the dress code, working
with student senate, and his “B.Y.O.D.” (Bring Your Own Device) policy.
Hartbauer has already met with Student Senate concerning working
together to compromise on such topics. Student Senate president, Richard Novak
spoke about their first meeting together.
“He’s definitely willing to work with us, but since he’s new he’s just
setting a standard for the future.”
Hartbauer is big on the idea of collaboration; he has previously
worked along with students to regulate school rules so that they work for both
parties. He believes that getting kids motivated within the school helps create
a better learning environment because students become a part of the overall
Hartbauer’s ultimate goal for his time at Keystone Oaks is quite
simple: he is going to take the large group of students and faculty he is
responsible for and lead them to success. It all goes back to his coaching -
being in charge of a complex system of many moving parts and finding a way to
lead them all to victory. Hartbauer may just be what Keystone Oaks needs - structured, educated, and determined in the
context of change.