All Ready for Aldworth
Returning to Maine West after serving as an administrator in other schools for the past decade, assistant principal for students John Aldworth has started his first year back with plenty of ideas and possibilities up his sleeve.
With history as an English teacher and a volleyball coach at Maine West, Aldworth already feels comfortable with the ways of Maine West. “I know a lot of teachers and administrators who were here 10 years ago, so that’s helped with the transition,” he said, “It’s a little easier when you know some people, and everyone I’ve met has just been fantastic.”
Aldworth notes excitedly that his new position allows him to oversee various aspects and pockets of West’s student body. Students throughout the school, regardless of club or organization, will have the support and guidance of the assistant principal. “What I love about the job is the title,” he said, “Being the ‘assistant principal for students’ is all-encompassing, so I work very closely with students and with things that directly impact students, including all activities, dances, clubs, and organizations.”
By working directly with the student body, Aldworth wants to make it possible for their voices to be heard.
“I’ve seen a lot of students who want to start up new clubs or have new activities happen. I [also] work closely with Student Council, Class Council and Warrior Pride,” Aldworth said.
Having worked with Aldworth when he was an English teacher at West, English teacher Seth MacLowry said Aldworth is “excited about getting kids involved and engaged. He’s willing to have fun and take risks.”
In addition to working with students, Aldworth is in the position to oversee security and discipline in the building. In regards to transportation, he works with the community’s Pace bus system to assure that the buses are running according to a schedule that will benefit students.
Hailing most recently from Downers Grove South, where he worked for six years, Aldworth previously held the title of director of student activities. “My role there was only the ‘activities’ part,” Aldworth said. “At Maine West, I have a little more, but my background and passion is in that ‘activity’ world.”
While at Downers Grove South, Aldworth spent much of his time organizing events and student groups. He was credited with starting a school-wide fundraiser and added about 35 new clubs for students. “I think my background with different clubs, activities and assemblies is going to help take Maine West to new heights,” Aldworth said.
Having spent 10 years away from Maine West, Aldworth recalls the reason he decided to ultimately return. “The energy and spirit that’s in the building with staff and students is unparalleled, and that was something that drew me back,” he said, “To be honest, I loved my job at Downers Grove South, and the only job that I would have left it for was this one—and it worked out pretty well!”
When he was a teacher, Aldworth “used to dress up in various costumes and act out story characters,” MacLowry said. “Students love the fun and engaging aspects of learning, and he knows that, ultimately, everyone is happier when they’re a part of something.”
In the brief few months that he’s been back at Maine West, Aldworth has already started up a school-wide Snapchat account. Students are able to add the account, which can be found @mwactivites, and view the various postings to stay up-to-date with activities around Maine West.
“I’m trying to get as many students and staff as possible connected and engaged with the activities in the school,” Aldworth explained. “Everyone is on social media all the time, and it keeps changing— this year everyone is on Snapchat, so I’m trying to learn and grow. I take photos of different things that are going on around the building and I’ll post the stories.”
Aldworth says he’s eager to be not only a great leader, but also a great support to each person here. With a well-rounded history in regards to education, Aldworth is giving the school a fresh year to look forward to.
“I’ve had experience in athletics as a coach, in the classroom as a teacher, as an administrator in fine arts and in English, and as an activity director,” Aldworth notes. “All of those different pieces are finally coming together.”