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Meet New Lutheran West Principal Michael Waugh '02

Jessica Miller | Monday, August 6, 2018
Cleveland Lutheran High School Association's Director of Communications, MikeWaughJessica Miller, recently interviewed new principal Michael Waugh, Class of 2002. Please join us in getting to know Mr. Waugh and welcoming him back to Lutheran West.

JM: You’re returning to Cleveland and to Lutheran West after some time away. How do you feel about being back?

MW: Lutheran West has always been a second home for me and my family.  My wife and I are both graduates of Lutheran West (2002), and I have over half a dozen immediate family members who are graduates of the school as well. After a lot of prayerful consideration pertaining to our future, it was actually pretty easy to return to Lutheran West. My sentiments about Lutheran West are shared by our alumni as well. Lutheran West is more than a school—it is an intentional effort for parents to educate their children in a Christian community and it has had a profound impact on me and my family.  

JM: What are you most looking forward to in the 2018-2019 school year?

MW: As I look at the changes in leadership for this upcoming school year, I see a tremendous opportunity to make a lasting impression upon our school and community. Whether it is a new student coming to Lutheran West for the first time or a student entering his or her senior year, I can’t wait to see the plans God has in store for our students. My two favorite days of the school year are the first and last day, because as Principal, you are able to see the vision for the future and then you have the opportunity to look back upon the successes and accomplishments of each student. I can’t wait to share these experiences with our students next year.

JM: In your opinion, what’s the #1 thing Lutheran West offers that other schools cannot or do not?

MW: At Lutheran West, we are intentional about building community—and that community plays out into everything that we do from academics, to athletics, fine arts, and spiritual growth opportunities.  Teachers take the time to get to know their students and mentor them both in and out of the classroom. This sets Lutheran West apart as we look to prepare students for the challenges they will face after high school—and our graduates have had success in these areas both during their high school years and then well into their adult lives.
JM: Can you share any big changes or improvements you’d like to make in your first year as Principal?

MW: I want every student to know that they matter and that they are cared for in all aspects of their lives. We live in a society where teenagers face new challenges that previous generations have never faced before. Despite these challenges, our youth have an enormous potential to make an impact on their communities. Making an impact starts by building positive relationships and Lutheran West will “double down” on Christian community for the 2018-2019 school year.

JM: You graduated from Lutheran West in 2002. What’s your fondest memory? What traditions do you recall from your days as a student that are still around today?

MW: Chapel has always been an extension of our mission to mentor students spiritually, emotionally, and socially. It made a profound impact upon me as a student. When I was teaching at Lutheran West from 2006 to 2015, some of my  fondest memories include leading Chapel messages. I’m looking forward to leading Chapel and also listening to the messages and presentations from our staff, community members, and students.

JM: How and why do you feel God led you back to Lutheran West and to this role?

MW: There are times in life when you feel like everything you have ever done had prepared you for this one, specific moment—and I feel like this is why God led me back to Lutheran West. Leading Christian schools has been a professional calling for me the last few years and in my opinion, there is no better school to lead than Lutheran West.

JM: What’s your favorite thing about Northeast Ohio (aside from Lutheran West, of course)?

MW: I have spend the last three years in Wisconsin and during those years the Cavs won the NBA Finals and the Indians lost the World Series (again), so it was easy to catch my favorite teams on national television. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but other than family, what I’ve missed the most about Northeast Ohio is watching the Cleveland Browns. I can’t wait for them to win the Superbowl in the next few years.

JM: Tell us about your family.

MW: My wife and I graduated from Lutheran West in 2002. We just celebrated our 11-year wedding anniversary and have two children with a third on the way this coming January.  As a family, our passion is Christian education and commitment to our churches and our schools in the Lutheran West community.

JM: What do you do for fun?

MW: Besides spending time with my family, I enjoy the sport of golf. I coached golf for six years at Lutheran West and I think the game is not only enjoyable, but teaches young athletes incredibly important lessons about integrity, sportsmanship, perseverance, and patience.

Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

Acts 3:6-8 I don’t have much, but what I have I give to you:  In the name of Jesus-Walk!  The man jumped up leaping, dancing and praising God!