TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- McCutcheon High School's principal is saying farewell after this spring semester. John Beeker is one of the longest-serving principals here locally now retiring after 19 years.
According to a 2016-2017 Learning Policy Institute study, the national average tenure of principals in their schools is about four years. Teachers and students are sharing why they believe he's been able to stand the test of time.
"Mr. Beeker has shaped this school by moving it into the 21st century," said teacher Dharmini Patel. "He has just been so open and we feel, I would say, valued in this profession at a time that sometimes it's just not always the case."
"Principal Beeker has definitely set a great example for all of us, you know, he comes on the speaker every Monday morning and encourages us all and basically just says you can do this and sometimes that's all you need as a high school student to hear that you can do it," said student Emma Galvin. "He's put a lot of effort in and time and hard work for us students and so absolutely I feel that I'm a better student."
"The Monday morning manners are just like a small example of us taking away how we can become a better person in society and just how to treat others well and how to act in this community," said student Manuel Magallanes. "I just want to thank him for helping me make this the best four years of my life and I want to congratulate him on the legacy he's leaving on at McCutcheon and of the community he's built here."
"He models what I like to see in leaders and what I try to encourage students to think about as leaders and that is what you do best is make the work that people under you are doing easier, you facilitate them, you give them freedom," said teacher Sig Kriebel. "He has made this such a positive place for students and faculty and staff It's been a great place to work and I have no trouble at all telling my students 'hey I love my job,' I love coming here every day even if you don't and so he's the one that's been responsible for that."
"I feel that he actually gave me a chance to get into the school and be a part of the school and not just be that football player or that student and I was actually a part of McCutcheon I felt like," said Jermarrie Wilson. "I really feel that he gave me an opportunity to express myself for who I am and who I want to be and that I matter."
"What I've enjoyed most about my job is being around students, especially juniors and seniors," said Beeker. "Anything we've done here at McCutcheon has not just been the principal, there are so many people here that have understood what we're trying to do."
He said he's proud of everything that's been accomplished during his time at McCutcheon.
"It's been a good run for me," said Beeker. "Being enthusiastic for what you do is something we feel is important, it's a life skill and it's great to be a Mav, that's our phrase, we believe that."
Beeker's time in the Tippecanoe School Corporation goes even further than 19 years. Before becoming McCutcheon's principal, he served as Wainwright Middle School's principal for seven years.