Taking over an important role

Junior Assistant Principal of MN looks forward to representing MN as new principal next year

Mahika Kanchanam, Lifestyle Editor

As Mr. Begley announced that the 2021 to 2022 school year would be his last working year before retirement, talking came to a stop as students looked at each other, eyes wide open. After Begley’s announcement, students began to question who would take over as principal. Soon, MN found out that current 11th-grade assistant principal Aaron Bearinger would be filling Begley’s shoes. 

“This is my 10th year as assistant principal. I started out as a business teacher here in the fall of 2005 and I started as assistant principal in the fall of 2013,” Bearinger said.

Korian Pfeifer, a current teacher at Millard North, was once a student of Bearinger. She feels that Bearinger has had an important influence on her life and believes he will have the same influence on other students. 

“His passion for his roles has been a motivation in my life. He taught my first ever business class so well that I ended up minoring in business in college. Teachers like him, who truly care about what they go to work for, are what brought me to education,” Korian said. 

While working with students as both a baseball coach and business teacher, Bearinger was able to gain new and invaluable experiences, leading him to become interested in the role of assistant principal.

“Initially, I wanted to be a business teacher and a baseball coach, and I did those things at first. What really changed me is [when] we started a Finance Academy at Millard North. I was selected to be the lead teacher for that, and I worked with district leaders for the first time for an entire year before it started,” Bearinger said. 

Throughout the whole planning process, Bearinger worked with a number of students and administration. After enjoying and reflecting on the time he spent planning the Finance Academy with others, Bearinger discovered a new interest of his.

“I was the one that went out and kind of recruited students for the Finance Academy, and in doing so, I realized the impact that something like this can have. I never knew all of the nuances that went into creating something, and that sparked my interest in pursuing an admin degree,” Bearinger said.  

After gaining his admin degree, Bearinger was the summer school principal for a few summers. By having this position, Bearinger gained a better taste of what it’s like to have an admin role. For the last 10 years, he has enjoyed working with the team of assistant principals.

“They have been a huge support system to me, and I’m probably going to miss that because, yes, moving down a couple of offices is going to [cause there to] be a little different relationship [between the assistant principals and I]. But I’m also thankful because they know me. They know what my strengths and what my challenges are, and they compliment me very well,” Bearinger said. 

Bearinger wants to get to really know MN. He looks forward to being in the hallways more, connecting more with MN students, and creating better relationships with the teachers and staff at MN. 

“One of my goals, by the end of next school year, is to go around to each teacher and staff member to have a 5-10 minute one-on-one conversation with them just to listen to them about their challenges and successes both inside and outside of the job,” Bearinger said. 

The current principal of Millard North, Brian Begley, is confident that Bearinger will be a strong leader and representative for Millard North High School. 

“I am excited about the prospect of Dr. Bearinger leading our wonderful school to great, new heights. With his considerable experience and inherent familiarity with our learning culture, I am quite confident that positive things are on the horizon,” Begley said. 

Begley believes that Bearinger has made many valuable contributions to the high school, and he has always been a great person to work with. 

“He has provided our students, our teachers, our administration team, our school, and me with tremendous support and competence for many years. He has both a great sense of humor and a great sense of fun. This ability to [make others] laugh helps ease the tension on some of the more challenging days that we face as school leaders,” Begley said.