Neuqua Valley Reflects on Dr. Bob McBride as Principal

Dr. Bob McBride as Principal

Simplicity, kindness and coherence. This is the legacy Dr. Bob McBride will leave Neuqua Valley High School after 11 years. In 2008, Dr. McBride arrived to lead nearly five thousand students across three buildings. 

“My first couple years, just the wow factor which really never diminished. The scale was so amazing and the talent was so incredible that the wow factor never really wore off,” said McBride.

Despite a state budget crisis, a lack of funding and an increase of students, McBride was able to lead Neuqua Valley to academic growth; in ACT scores, AP course work and testing and National Merit Scholars.

That’s why in 2017, Neuqua Valley received the distinction of a National Blue Ribbon School.

“For six consecutive years, each group has to make an improvement for six years in a row. It’s very difficult for a large institution to post those gains. So to have six continuous years of growth is amazing,” said McBride.

What Neuqua Will Remember

“You see him everywhere, he knows your name, he greets you with a smile and a handshake and he’s personable. He reaches out and says how was your day? How was your weekend? Do you have plans for the holiday? He’s very personable and interactive,” said English teacher Stacey Welton.

“What I love about Dr. McBride is that he’s very supportive of us as teachers trying new things. I’ve had some colleagues at other schools that are afraid to try new things because they’re worried about making a mistake and that’s not the culture that we have at Neuqua Valley High School,” said biology teacher Adrianne Toomey.

“From the time I’ve been here he’s always been supportive. He’s always been a person not only to talk about educational stuff but stuff outside the school,” added special education teacher Jamine Turner. 

“The incredible amount of commitment it takes to be a leader of a school this large and to make the connections he’s made has been pretty incredible,” said incoming principal, Dr. Lance Fuhrer. 

Looking Ahead

As he transitions to his new role as Superintendent of Lockport District 205, Dr. McBride says Neuqua has taught him the most effective leaders are those who help others excel.

“The job of the principal is not coming in to be the boss and tell everybody what to do. The job of a good teacher is to recognize talent, open the door, and see them flourish. I hope that’s what I do as a superintendent,” said McBride.

Leaving behind a compassionate student-centered climate, Dr. McBride will be cherished as a principal, colleague and mentor, but he will most be remembered for these five words:

“And as always, go Wildcats!”

Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.

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