Madison East High Principal Michael Hernandez (Photo: A. David Dahmer)

Madison East High School Principal Mike Hernandez will be the Madison Metropolitan School District’s new chief of high schools starting Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Hernandez has been the principal at Madison East for the past four years and the principal of Sherman Middle School on Madison’s north side for eight years prior to that.

“When I was at Sherman, I’ve always had some questions about why certain things were done a certain way that would help certain kids as they entered East. I had the opportunity to come to East and make those moves and decisions. I think that it’s worked out really well for our kids here,” Hernandez tells Madison365. “I had the questions about some of the decision making and the ways things have been done at the District office over the last few years and this opportunity presented itself.

“I would love to be able to do two things: make the experience of the comprehensive high schools better for all kids at all schools, but also I truly believe we need to figure out a way to help rebuild the trust from our community and our schools,” he adds. “It’s always something I’ve been passionate about. I believe it’s a strength of mine – making connections with our community. The only way we can really do this work is together. I don’t think that’s been the case.”

Soon to be working out of the downtown administration building, Hernandez says that he will miss being on the ground on Madison’s east side around all of the students on a day-to-day basis.

“I’m really going to miss my interactions with kids on a daily basis. I’m going to miss the energy,” he says.

Hernandez says that they are working on a transition plan and within the next couple of days they will be announcing the interim principal at East.

Hernandez takes over the chief of secondary schools job from Alex Fralin, who announced that he was leaving the district earlier this month.

“My goals with the new position is to align equitable strategies for all students in all of the schools. We need to remember that we have a large number of students who have been forgotten throughout the city,” Hernandez says. “We need to remember that’s why we’re here.”