Keystone Oaks School District News Article

Hartbauer’s Game Plan for Keystone Oaks

New High School Principal

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 record.

               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 product.

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.


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