On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, Robert Beato, Principal of South Lake High School (SLHS) was named Michigan’s 2019 Principal of the Year by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP). Mr. Beato will now be recognized at the statewide conference for secondary principals and go to Washington D.C. to represent Michigan at the Secondary School Principal’s National Conference.

Mr. Beato has been with South Lake Schools for 19 years. He began his career at SLHS in 1999 as a Social Studies Teacher and then transitioned to Dean of Students in 2006. In 2011 Mr. Beato returned to the classroom after the birth of his daughter. In 2014 he became the Assistant Principal of SLHS and in 2016 was hired as Principal of SLHS.

During his tenure, he has made personal connections with the community and has a high regard for the well-being of all students, which is evident to all within the District. Mr. Beato has made positive school culture a priority for both students and educators. He works collaboratively with staff, students and families at SLHS. The staff at SLHS has embraced Mr. Beato for a number of reasons, most notably he remembers what it is like to be teaching in the classroom. Mr. Beato is committed to academics; he has had the forethought to provide co-curricular programs that allow students to experience success outside of the classroom.  

"MASSP is proud to recognize the work of Mr. Beato. He genuinely embodies servant leadership and prioritizes the needs of the staff and students at South Lake above all else," said Wendy Zdeb, Executive Director of MASSP.  In the application submitted by the school district a letter of support was included from South Lake Assistant Principal Rebecca Schroll.  Ms. Schroll explained, “Bob has never been satisfied with the status quo or doing things because ‘they have always been done this way’.”  She also noted Mr. Beato’s willingness to share leadership and encourage others to lead. 

MASSP requires nominees to have served in a Principal role for at least three years for grades 6-12. Additionally, they require nominees to show a sense of collaborative leadership, involvement in curriculum, instruction, and assessment as well as positive personal involvement with District staff, students and families.

Written by Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director