McGrory to leave Ames High

After 10 years as the principal of Ames High School, Michael McGrory will be leaving Ames to become the next principal of Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. He announced his decision at a staff meeting on the morning of Dec. 16 after signing his new contract on Dec. 15. His decision came after months of careful consideration in a process including three interviews and a site visit to Ames High. "It was a really difficult decision to make," McGrory said. "The challenge of a new position is what’s enticing to me. I’ve never been in an urban school district, and Hinsdale has a much larger student body of 2,900 as opposed to the 1,400 students at Ames High." In his tenure at Ames High, McGrory has hired approximately half the current staff and has led Ames High to national recognition as one of the top high schools in the country three times. "You don’t think about your legacy until someone asks you about it," McGrory said, "but I’d say my biggest legacy will be left in the staff I have hired while working here. These people are going to have an enduring impact on Ames High for a long time." McGrory’s planned departure will bring about a search for a new principal at Ames High. "There’s already concern among staff members as to what the hiring process will be like," McGrory said. "There’s not a lot of principals out there with large high school experience, and you have to have experience to be principal at Ames High." McGrory also noted that he’d be willing to be an active part of the hiring process. He will take his new post July 1, replacing interim principals Frank Kesman and Tom Paulsen. Despite his anticipation to take on a new challenge at Hinsdale, McGrory said that he has loved being the principal of Ames High.