New assistant principal Kristy Loughin-Vance looks to find the spark within her students

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Mrs. Loughin-Vance

N ew assistant principal Mrs. Loughin-Vance standing outside FHC

Although many people long for the hustle and bustle of city life, FHC’s new assistant principal Kristy Loughin-Vance finds the adventurous outdoors and majestic winters that Michigan is so fond of to be much more alluring. 

Loughin-Vance—more commonly referred to as Mrs. LV— lived in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, for the past 17 years. She explained that although there are certain aspects of Chicago that she loves, there were certain things about Michigan that she couldn’t pass on.

“I just wanted my kids to know my Michigan family,” she explained, “and also the outdoors because it’s a totally different place up here. And I know it sounds cheesy, but I wanted them to see the beauty of nature.” 

With fall on the horizon, and a long winter following quickly behind, she is looking forward to all the fresh experiences she will get to share with her family in their new Michigan home.

At her previous job in Chicago, she taught two classes, evaluated staff, built curriculums, and met with department heads. Although finding a new job was not her motivation for moving here, it was undoubtedly a factor she had to deal with right away.

Loughin-Vance went on to explain that when she first started looking for houses in Michigan, she wasn’t exactly sure where she wanted to live. Her family is from Greenville—which she wanted to be close to—but didn’t think there would be an opening anywhere near.

“Teaching positions don’t generally pop up that often,” she said. “So, I was looking around at the different places in Kent County, but I wasn’t really finding anything until I did a little bit more advanced searching, since here and my old job are on different application processes, and I found Forest Hills.”

When she went in for her interview, she was very impressed with the process and dedication to detail that Forest Hills took when considering a new employee. 

I don’t feel like I am doing my best unless I’m helping you do your best.”

— Loughin-Vance

She further explained that even though she went from interviewing for a teaching position to the vice principal position, every step was as smooth as it could be and made her excited to work here. 

“What I love about the interview process here is that they involved teachers, they involved students, [and] they involved community members,” Loughin-Vance said. “So, everybody had a little bit of an investment in the process and in me too, and when you start out at a school, that process is so heartwarming and speaks to the culture of this place that all those people wanted to and were allowed to be involved.”

After receiving the vice principal job, she immediately started thinking about how she was going to leave her mark at FHC. She is very passionate about many things, but number one on her list is helping people.

Luckily for her, this new job allows her to explore that passion in a new and ultimately exciting way for both her and the people she works with. 

“I am always motivated to help the people I work with,” Loughin-Vance said.” Whether they’re students, staff, or whoever it is, to be the best possible versions of themself. I don’t feel like I am doing my best unless I’m helping you do your best. That’s a passion of mine because it really does take a village to help people and lift people up.”

One of the downsides to wanting to help people, however, is that you can’t help everyone. She explained that although not everything she does will be favorable—especially amongst the students—she wants to assure everyone she has their best interest at heart. 

The way Loughin-Vance plans to show her love for the job is by being someone who people feel comfortable coming to with their ideas. Harboring that feeling of something great and helping other people achieve their goals is something she plans on encouraging this year at FHC.

“I’m hoping that I foster the type of relationships where when people have this spark of an idea, that they’ll have the willingness and the invitation to come and talk with me so that we can make that spark turn into something amazing,” Loughin-Vance said. “Everybody’s little spark is different, but I’m hoping I can help turn those sparks into moments they will treasure.”