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MacD shifts roles, leaves big shoes to fill

Leadership Adviser Matt MacDonald is stepping down from his position next year in order to focus on teaching history, coaching, and family. Photo by Emily Bakey

After a long tenure of teaching Bruins to plan, campaign, and lead, Leadership Advisor Matt MacDonald has decided to pass on his Leadership class to new hands going into next year.

He gave insight into the reasoning behind his decision.

“It’s been a really good run, it’s been seven years,” said Mr. MacDonald. “My kids are getting older and I think it’s time for a little bit of a change for me, just to get back in the classroom and focus on taking over the AP Gov program that [Jeff] Carrow’s been doing, continuing with AP US [History], coaching volleyball, and being there for my kids. So [it’s] kind of a combination of a family decision and also a decision to get back in the classroom.”

He further describes the new advisor that has already been chosen to take over the program.

“We have already hired our successor,” he said. “Her name is Jessica Lee, and she’s from Nevada Union. She teaches Get Focused, Stay Focused and is our Union President actually. She is stepping down from that position, but she has already been working with me. We’ve been talking, planning, and scheming for next year. I certainly wouldn’t have stepped down if I didn’t feel like we had somebody in mind who was going to do a great job keeping traditions and making memories for kids.”

Junior Ana Hamilton raved about Ms. Lee’s preparedness.

“Ms. Lee has been awesome so far in starting the planning process for next year’s school year,” she said. “She is very organized and ready to go!”

Mr. MacDonald continued to explain what impressed him about Ms. Lee.

“I think she’s a phenomenal communicator,” he said. “She’s really organized and she’s got a passion to work with students, to develop new traditions and to keep a lot of the great traditions that we have here … I think she’s going to bring a really good perspective and want to be a part of our community. I think she’s going to do great.”

Mr. MacDonald reflected on some of his favorite moments spent in Leadership.

“I think for me it’s the times spent with the kids getting ready for events, planning things. Sometimes the conversations we had, for instance, after we broke down a dance and it’s 11 o’clock at night or we’re there on Saturday setting up for something or working on something like floats. The little moments like that are the ones that I’ll remember the most from this time period.”

Sophomore Ruth Rivett and Senior Klaire Wolford reminisced about some of their favorite memories with Mr. MacDonald.

“Some of my favorite memories of being in his class are coming up with new ideas together for leadership,” said Wolford.

“My favorite memories of his class are planning the dances and rallies and just talking to the entire class,” said Rivett.

Hamilton reflected on the time spent in the class.

“[Mr.] MacDonald’s Leadership class has been the most positive and fun environment,” she said. “MacD is such a supportive, friendly, and uplifting teacher and he does a great job of teaching kids how to be leaders and also how to put on events at school. I think my favorite memory being in his class was sophomore year homecoming week, it was a super exciting time because we had events going on every night of the week that Leadership was in charge of putting on. We had Powderpuff, a movie night, football game, and volleyball game all in the same week. Bear River struggles sometimes on the aspect of getting people to attend events and show school spirit, but MacD always does his best to help us stay excited and teach us new ways to inspire others to come out to events.”

—Annabelle Owyoung contributed to this report.

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MacD shifts roles, leaves big shoes to fill