Mickelson says she's prepared for new job as KHS principal

Pat Mickelson has been preparing to become a school principal for five years and will undertake that challenge next year at Kingman High School North.

"I feel I'm ready for it but it's also frightening because the position is so complex," she said.

"A high school principal has to make sure students are passing their classes and earning credits, while also paying attention to requirements to maintain school accreditation.

At the K-8 level students are promoted, so everything is more complex at this level."

Greg Parker, who is in his fourth year as principal at KHS North, will become human resources coordinator next year when the Mohave Union High School District and Kingman Elementary School District merge to become the Kingman Unified School District.

KUSD Acting Superintendent Mike Ford, who is MUHSD superintendent now, proposed an organizational chart of administrators Tuesday night to the KUSD Governing Board.

He discussed the new role Parker will have, nominated Mickelson as his replacement at the high school, and the board accepted the chart as presented.

Mickelson is now in her third year as an assistant to Parker.

She also was assistant principal during 1996-98 at Cerbat Elementary School.

Her role at the high school has prepared her for the top spot, she said.

"A major difference between being an assistant principal at the high school and elementary district is that here I'm responsible for the facility itself," Mickelson said.

"I've learned more about remodeling, commercial cleaning and grounds maintenance.

"I've also become more experienced in budget matters as supervisor of the maintenance budget, and the crew of 16 that cares for the facility are my responsibility.

I'm gaining experience in budget and ordering and that has been fabulous experience."

Mickelson said she also oversees student activities which includes more than 40 clubs at the high school.

Their calendars and schedule of events must be coordinated without interfering with student academics, she said.

What does she believe is a principal's greatest challenge?

"Making the best decisions possible for students, parents and staff," Mickelson said.

"You want to balance academics with extracurricular activities, which are what the kids like to be in school for.

They have to be kept motivated, remembering that academics is the reason we're here."

One problem faced by teachers is a lack of student motivation to learn and that is an additional matter for a principal to be concerned with, she said.

She saw many cases of non-motivated pupils at the elementary level due to less encouragement from parents and family members, Mickelson said.

Of choosing Mickelson as the next principal at KHS North, Ford said, "She has shown outstanding leadership skills and the ability to work with students, parents and the community very well.

When you look at that you also take into consideration input from everyone else and try to make the best decision you can make."

Mickelson was born in Sacramento, Calif.

and was "an Air Force brat," she said.

She graduated from Cooper High School in Abilene, Texas.

In 1973, Mickelson said she earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Arizona State University.

She picked up a master's in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University in 1994.

Mickelson moved to Kingman in 1988 from Mission Viejo, Calif.

when her husband, Mike, got a job as a pilot for the Department of Public Safety air rescue helicopter based here.

He is now senior pilot, she said.

She taught social studies during 1988-94 at Kingman Junior High School and an at-risk program for grades 6-8 during 1994-96, Mickelson said.

The Mickelsons have two children attending Arizona State University in Tempe.

Their son, Josh, 23 is a senior and majoring in political science and their daughter, Christian, 21, is a junior majoring in nursing.

In her spare time, Pat enjoys reading fiction stories and hiking and camping with Mike.