Teachers React to Principal Meier’s Retirement


When the school community returns from spring break April 1, its most prominent member will be absent when the first bell rings. Rather than standing before subschools wearing a suit and wielding his ram cane, Principal Dan Meier will instead be running outside on his first day of retirement. And the school’s teachers are already preparing for his absence.

“We’re a very high-functioning school, so we wonder what will change in the near future,” Spanish teacher Susan Chandler said. “I hope the school retains continuity once he leaves.”

Administrative assistant Sue Henderson said she has learned to appreciate to the positivity Meier brings to the main office and will miss it once he leaves.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with him for the past five years because, 99.9 percent of the time, he has a smile on his face when he comes in,” Henderson said. “It’s only something pretty bad that will stress him out so that he isn’t smiling, but he comes around.”

IB Coordinator Lisa Green said Meier has never restricted his cheer to the confines of the main office, but has introduced encouragement into each of the classrooms he visits on a daily basis.

“Him having a positive attitude about change and new ideas helps teachers stay excited about what they’re teaching and really encourages them to think outside the box with new ideas,” Green said. “He is everywhere and really sends the message that he’s not a distant leader.”

History teacher Michael Van Wambeke said another facet of Meier’s leadership that helped him transition into the school last year was his interest in staff members and their careers.

“The thing that most impressed me about Mr. Meier was how welcoming he was; he had a Staff Orientation Day for all the new teachers and introduced me to the assistant principals, the secretaries and custodians,” Van Wambeke said. “The fact that he was accessible and really mingled with us was impressive. The fact that he also knew my name within a few months of my arrival here was something that I thought really showed his attention to detail and knowledge.”

“The most important job is to hire outstanding teachers and supervise them, to hire quality people. I’ve always believed in a team mentality, that every single job at school is important. I treat everyone as an integral part of our mission.”

IB Coordinator Wendy Vu said she remains optimistic that the legacy Meier is leaving behind will continue guiding the school in an ideal direction.

“Robinson is successful because teachers feel empowered to share ideas, and that’s from Mr. Meier; that’s the type of culture he’s created,” Vu said. “Robinson is not broken; the new principal should be someone who knows this and provides a vision on how to move the school even further forward.”

Upon reflection, Meier said one of his most crucial duties as principal was to hire outstanding teachers, and that, through his collaboration with such teachers, he has created a team atmosphere he is confident will remain present at the school for years to come.

Meier said, “Because of the strengths and talents of these professionals, I know the school will flourish without me. We always go forward, and I certainly know I’m leaving it a better place.”