Pirate News: New high school principal takes the helm.

August 23, 2021

Hart High School Principal Troy Moran

Pirate News: New high school principal takes the helm.

Pirate News is a presentation of Hart Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press. 

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — When Hart High School students soon return to classes for the 2021-2022 school year, they will be greeted by a new principal, Troy Moran.

Moran, a Whitehall native, most recently served as principal at Montague High School where he worked for four years.

Moran takes over for Brandon Bruce, who resigned from the principal position to take a new job at his alma mater in the Upper Peninsula. Bruce accepted a job as superintendent of Gwinn Public Schools. He served as HHS principal since July of 2018 following the retirement of Matt McDonald.

Moran said the transition has gone smoothly since he began duties, July 1. He and Bruce connected prior to his first day, which allowed him to meet many staff members and students and get a tour of the high school building.

Moran has known both Bruce and Hart Superintendent Mark Platt for several years during the course of their education careers.

He worked with Bruce with the expansion of the West Michigan Conference, and he also worked in the Mona Shores school district when Platt was a principal there. Moran also has a good relationship with McDonald as well.

“When I was at Mona Shores as a teacher, I was interested in becoming an administrator. So, when Mark would be in conferences, I would go fill in at his building at Churchill Elementary. What I’ve been able to say to staff, ‘What you feel about your superintendent is exactly how his students, teachers and parents felt about him as a building principal.’ So, we have a connection.”

A Viking athlete and a 1996 Whitehall High School graduate, Moran completed his college studies at Western Michigan University. When he graduated from college, there was a teacher surplus, so he substitute taught for two years. 

“I was at (Mona) Shores for the bulk of my teaching career,” teaching middle school social studies. He then moved onto Oakridge Public Schools where he served as the high school dean of students and then became the upper elementary principal.

“I’m taking over a really good thing, which I am very happy about.”

Moran and his wife, Sarah, two daughters, Elle, 13, and Reagan, 10, live in Whitehall. Sarah, a Montague native, works as a pharmaceutical representative.

“I would really like to build off what Brandon and Matt started — MTSS, the Multi Tier Systems of Support — really build a strong foundation for students. We’ll be meeting students’ needs as far as academics and behavior. So if they’re struggling in some area we’re finding ways to support them — everybody universally — so they can be the best that they can be.

“More students walking out the door with their diploma; more getting into the first college of their choice; and more students getting that first apprenticeship that they want.”

Moran also plans to create a solid social media presence “and really communicate with parents; broadcast the positives and celebrations; and to build community and school spirit. If you’re not having fun, it can be a tough place to come and learn and a tough place to come and teach.”

Moran plans to connect Hart High School with the Ride with Pride program in Muskegon County. The goal is to provide an opportunity for law enforcement and schools to come together and build a program promoting safe and positive choices. “It’s basically helping students to make great choices inside school with academics, attendance and behavior but also outside school with drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention and safe driving.” 

At the end of the year, a car is raffled off to a student. Hart would be the first Oceana County school to be involved. 

The lingering impacts of COVID-19 create a challenge going into the 2021-2022 school year. “Being able to quickly adapt to whatever the situation is will be the challenge,” he said. “The hurdles of post-pandemic or a new pandemic will be on the forefront of everybody’s minds.

“I’m excited to be here. I’ve admired this district for a while.”

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