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Community Profile: IMS Principal Kari Michael

August 4, 2021 | Ashleigh (Easley) Goodwin

VETERAN EDUCATOR KARI MICHAEL started her job as Incline Middle School principal last July, during the heart of the lingering pandemic.

Michael came to the IMS principal job after spending 14 years serving in various roles at Incline High School. There she had stints as special education department leader, dean of students and assistant principal.

“I come from a long line of educators… “it’s in my blood” Michael said. “Both grandmothers and my mom taught at Kings Beach Elementary School. My grandmothers were there before there were schools in Incline Village. My sister is a music teacher, and many of our cousins are also teachers or principals.”

Michael said she didn’t become a teacher with visions of someday being a principal. She was a special education teacher for 13 years before becoming an administrator. However, she feels her classroom experiences have left her prepared for the position.

“My work as a special education teacher informs my practice daily. Clear expectations. Solid communication. No judgment. Follow through on consequences and move on. Reset. Every student deserves new opportunities to be successful with the support of a team who believes the same,” Michael said.

She believes that it is important to always emphasize “to move on and create more positive memories to replace the negative.”

To that point, Michael said she looks at the current crop of Incline Middle School students and sees their greatest potential.

“I want to push every middle school student to reach for the stars knowing that this community will support them every step of the way,” Michael said.

That support includes a tech drive, led by the Incline Education Fund and Jr Boosters, which raised more than $100,000 and which is allowing all IMS students to be lent new laptops to use for their studies.

While life has been overwhelming the past year, especially for working parents, Michael said keeping in touch with students and their families long past graduation day keeps her motivated. “I am grateful for the relationships I have made during my educational career,” Michael said.

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