New Assistant Principal Andrew Guss takes the reins
By Alexander Wolf, Reporter
In 2019, the school district selected Andrew Guss as an ideal candidate for the position of assistant principal. Guss has worked in education abroad and in the states for nearly a decade. However, this will be Guss’s first administrative position.
Guss was inspired to become a teacher while he was traveling abroad.
“I taught for two years in Japan; that’s when I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” Guss said.
Guss then taught in his home state of California for four years and, upon moving to Washington, taught for another four years in Tacoma.
Guss’s interest in teaching stemmed from a passion for the material he taught and for the opportunity to collaborate with people.
“The challenge of working with people is big with me,” he said.
The position of assistant principal comes with a wide range of responsibilities.
“Every day I need to be present to students and staff members,” Guss said. “I need to be available, to be able to respond to their needs. I need to be responsive to situations that require my attention.”
Beyond being present and available, Guss also has the more technical obligations as CTE director, testing coordinator, and English Language Coordinator.
“I’m the EL coordinator …That has been some of my greatest joy in the start of the year,” Guss said.
Gus will also take over handling much of the disciplinary action at school.
“Discipline is a response to actions and it’s used as a learning tool. There is a consequence for a bad decision … If that bad decision is repeated over a period of time, that consequence will elevate,” Guss said.
Principal Danny Rock trusts Guss with filling this difficult position.
“The work is very complex … He is commuting onto an island, he is engaging the community, and then he has the full responsibilities as an administrator,” Rock said.
The Vashon community expects much of their school district, along with its choice of assistant principal.
“Our population has extremely high expectations of their small rural school district … Our population is discerning like a parent; they are intelligent, and they have high expectations … They can be both demanding and very supportive and kind,” Rock said.
Rock has been impressed with how Guss has performed thus far.
“I have been very happy with how our partnership is emerging … He is doing a fantastic job,” Rock said.
For Guss, it is important for the assistant principal to be supportive of students and faculty.
“I just hope that my time at Vashon is remembered as somebody that is supportive and responsive and … supporting them and their needs to get them to the level that they want to be as a teacher and an educator, and for students, too,” Guss said.
Guss is excited and eager to be a part of the VHS community.
“One weird thing I have shared with a few people was that my high school colors were green and gold. … The green and gold [here] has made me feel right at home,” Guss said. “I’m proud to be a pirate and to be a part of this team.”