Pierce is Fierce

Eric Pierce joins the administration at WBHS as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director

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West Bloomfield welcomes Mr Eric Pierce to his new position as Assistant Principal of West Bloomfield High School (WBHS). Since 2001, Pierce has been at WBHS. He taught Marketing, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Entrepreneurship, World History, and Internship, and has been an advisor for West Bloomfield’s DECA program for 13 years. He is also the Head Varsity Baseball Coach, Head Coach of Girls Varsity Golf Team and has been the Assistant Varsity Football Coach for 7 years. This year, Pierce was appointed the new Athletic Director/Assistant Principal. Spectrum sat down to conduct an interview with him regarding his new position.

Spectrum: Where did you go to college and what did you study?

Pierce: I went to Central Michigan University. At Central Michigan University I studied Education. I earned my Bachelor science in education, with an emphasis in marketing. So I was trying to become a business teacher which I was here for 13 years.  I also had a minor in History.

Spectrum: When did you join WBHS and why did you choose WBHS?

Pierce: I joined West Bloomfield schools in 2001; it was actually August of 2001. I had done my student teaching here at West Bloomfield in the spring of that year, and I just kind of fell in love with it here. I loved the marketing program that we had, and I loved the amount of classes and different activities the different electives that we had in that program. There weren’t too many schools that offered classes such as fashion merchandising, and had the store running all day and all these different marketing electives, so it was a lot of fun for me to see;  it kind of felt like home after teaching here.

Spectrum: Regarding your previous position, what did you enjoy most about that experience?

Pierce: The interactions. I loved interacting with the students. It was fun–every day to start a class and to hear about what the students had done over the weekend or what they were doing during the week, whether it was in athletics or other fields, I really enjoyed those one on one discussions that I had as well as the group discussions that happened in class.

Spectrum: What do you plan to do so to help students have a better experience at WBHS?

Pierce: I think getting students involved is key. The more everybody’s involved, the better an experience will be. I think this high school is great. It offers so many different options for the students to participate in.  I feel like if you have an administrative team, which I feel we do now, that goes out of their way to make positive connections with the students when they’re here, then you create more of a welcoming atmosphere. If students feel comfortable and they feel safe and they feel like they’re excited to come to school, then they’re going to want to participate more. I think that’s a big role of the administration here at the high school.

Spectrum: What is your vision for WBHS, in other words what do you plan to bring to the school?

Pierce: My overall vision of WBHS is I love where we are in terms of both an academic institution, as well as an athletic activities institution. Our academics are almost second to none around here. We compete with the Birmingham schools, the Bloomfield Hills schools, the amount of Advanced Placement classes that we offer, as well as honors courses– it’s just fantastic. We have a bunch of electives that we offer here, so academically I think we’re second to none. That’s a big strong selling piece for us. Athletically, I’m excited about our sports programs, Obviously being the Athletic Director I’ve learned even more about the sports programs that I knew in the past. I think we have coaches that are very caring, and look for the best interest of the student athlete as well. And then just seeing all the extracurriculars that are offered whether it’s drama or yearbook or everything, seeing the students participate in that and having a good time with it. This is a great place to learn and a great place to grow and it’s an excellent preparation for college.

Spectrum: What is the biggest challenge the administration faces at WBHS?

Pierce: Making sure the experiences students have is enjoyable one here. Obviously you have students sometimes who are not excited to come to school and you have to find a way to make it so that they feel more welcome. It needs to be an exciting experience, it needs to be good for you, it needs to be an experience where students are prepared for college. These are all expectations that the community has for us , and they’re good expectations, they’re positive expectations. Our role as an administrative staff in West Bloomfield is to make sure that all these expectations are met. The teachers are the stars; we’re the ones that are just kind of helping out, helping guide them for the best interest of the students.

Spectrum: What do you look forward to most in your new position?

Pierce: I was a teacher. I was primarily able to connect with 180 students, and that was great. I loved having the students in my classroom, and it was fantastic to know them on a more personal level. I think this position will allow me to even interact with more students that are out there. It gives me an opportunity to learn more about the different activities and options that are available here. I was a marketing teacher, I also taught a little history, and I was a baseball coach and a football coach and a golf coach at times. That’s all I really knew at West Bloomfield High school. This gives me a chance to experience everything that’s offered at West Bloomfield, so I get more of an in depth understanding of it.

Spectrum: What have you learned so far in your new position?

Pierce: I’ve learned a few different things obviously. Before I didn’t really know what an administrator did, you know all the duties and responsibilities that an administrator has. I’ve got a lot more respect for that now obviously! It’s a busy day, it really is! There’s always a meeting, there’s always something to handle–you always have to be very flexible. Those are things that I think teaching helped me a lot in, because when you’re a teacher in the classroom you have to be flexible with what the students are learning, flexible with how they’re feeling that day, you have to be flexible with whether your lesson’s hitting or not. The same thing applies to being an administrator, and previously I didn’t know that.  So the flexibility that you have to have is definitely a key. One of the things I’m very excited about is the opportunity to have a lot of personal communication with people. That’s something I enjoyed as a teacher, so still being able to do that as an administrator is definitely something I’m excited about.

Spectrum: What made you want to become an educator?

Pierce: The biggest thing that influenced me to become an educator was that I had a couple of teachers in high school that I just thought were amazing, almost to the point where you kind of love going to their class! They were fun, they were exciting– the knowledge they had. I had one history teacher who was the national history teacher of the year and he was absolutely amazing. I had a DECA advisor and marketing teacher that just took such an interest in our backgrounds and our lives that it made me say “Hey this is cool! This is great! This is a great way to connect with people and give back.” So that’s kind of what got me into teaching. In addition the coaching aspect of it, I loved sports and you know playing baseball my whole life all that I loved the idea of being a coach as well.

Spectrum: Did you ever consider becoming a part of school administration while you were still in school yourself, why or why not?

Pierce: You know I never considered it before, up until a couple of years ago it really never crossed my mind. The reason why it didn’t was I just always envisioned myself being in the classroom until the end of my career–just staying there and teaching because I really truly did enjoy it. Even up until last year I really enjoyed the teaching aspect and interacting with the students every day. As I went on in my educational career I started to see that I took on some more responsibilities whether it being a discipline meeting or working after school and some of the games being an administrator in charge, I started to see other avenues that I could help out in. And some of the roles I took on where administrative roles, so it was almost like a seamless little transition. When Mr. Watson took over as principal, it seemed like a nice little opportunity especially because I knew he was someone I could definitely work with, and people always told me that if you were ever going to go into administration, it’s not just the job, it has to be the right fit.  Having Mr. Watson there is definitely the right fit for me, being that he’s someone I know really well and he’s someone I can work with. The whole administrative team right now is a nice fit.

Spectrum: What are you interests outside of school?

Pierce: I have a lot of interests! I love spending time with my family obviously, and in addition to that we go to family camp in the summer for a week. That’s a big highlight–I love going. My sister has a house on the lake so we go there a lot. I love barbecuing, love playing sports, I love being active, lifting weights–doing all those things. Family time is first and foremost, and then you know being involved in athletics is a huge thing for me as well.

Spectrum: What can you tell me about your family?

Pierce:  My wife is Marci; I’ve been married to her for 8 years. She’s actually a teacher at Country Oaks Elementary school which is in the Huron Valley school district. We have 3 children. My daughter is the oldest child; her name is Kaylee and she’s 7. Then my middle child is a son named Kyle and he’s 5 years old now, so he’s just starting elementary school. And then my youngest is Camden, and he is 2 and a half. So it’s busy–they’re all involved in activities right now which is great so we’re running around like crazy. As soon as I leave here it’s putting on a different hat and running around doing something else but it’s a lot of fun. I wouldn’t trade it for the world–it’s amazing.