Rau Runs into Region 10
Mills' new principal no stranger to community
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This fall the freshmen weren’t the only new faces at Mills. Christopher Rau started work as Mills’ top administrator on July 1, taking over for retired former principal Pamela Lazaroski.
Rau was among 13 finalists who were interviewed by students, staff, and the Board of Education. These 13 people were narrowed down from about 28 applicants.
When it got down to the final two candidates, Superintendent Alan Beitman personally had lunch with the both of them separately. He said, “If I can’t stand being with him for an hour, how are you guys going to stand him as principal?”
Along with Rau’s “likeability” Beitman praised the newly hired principal for his ability to connect with various demographics within Region 10, including Board of Education members and students.
Rau previously served as an assistant principal, a coach, and a former social studies teacher at Windsor High School, where he worked for 14 years.
Already, Rau has thought of ways to improve students’ daily lives at Mills. One of the first things Rau wanted to do was change our nettlesome “clear” water bottle policy; he had heard a lot about it from the student body and decided that there should be change. Previously, students could only carry water in a clear container. Students are now allowed to have a variety of hot or cold beverages, as long as they are in a container that has a closed, sealed lid that follows the school rules.
It’s a move that’s already winning fans among the student body.
Senior Terian Guerra praised the policy shift.
“For the past four years we haven’t been able to bring in coffee, so I’m excited to finally be able to drink my coffee without getting a suspension,” he said.
Rau noted that he is a relaxed and organized principal and wants the staff and students to be comfortable going to him regarding any problems. He has stated that one of the most important things in running a successful school has to do with making sure, “the students and teachers feel like they have what they need. That’s really my job.”
Communication is very important, said Rau said, encouraging students or faculty to talk to him about any questions or concerns.
To keep parents updated with everything happening in and around the school, he plans to email a newsletter every two weeks. His first newsletters shared information on everything from homecoming to his new Twitter account @LSMPrincipal. Rau looked forward to attending various sports games and activity meetings and having the chance to meet students’ parents. Rau has already been spotted supporting the Spartans at games and races.
Meanwhile, colleagues said his presence has been missed at Windsor High School.
“Mr. Rau was an outstanding teacher, coach, and administrator within Windsor Public Schools,” said Kristina Wallace, a school counselor from Windsor High.
Wallace said Rau brings a strong presence and calm nature to the job. Some of his best qualities are “his ability to advocate for the best interest of students, staff, and the community as a whole,” she said. These are qualities Rau hopes to carry over to Mills.
In his free time, Rau enjoys are running, watching movies, and reading. He is also very excited to be working in the same town that he lives in, and where his two kids go to school. Allison Rau, a sophomore, echoed her father’s enthusiasm: “It’s so much fun to see him around the school.”
Rau looks forward to getting to know the faculty and student body. He plans to use this year as a learning process, so he can build upon Mills’ already established strong reputation.