Trackin’ Travis:

Final Farewell

May 22, 2015

This year will be Principal Travis’s last year at PSHS. We got the chance to sit down with him for an interview for one last time…

Matt Hehl: How many years have you been principal here at South?

Principal Travis: This is going to be five years.

Q: What do you believe is your legacy here at PSHS?

A: Well, I’m a pretty humble guy, so it’s kind of hard for me to talk like that in those terms. I’m pretty proud of our accomplishments over the past five years. We’ve raised academic expectations for our kids. I think our students are getting more opportunities presented to them as a result of their education here at Plainfield South. I’m very proud of the culture and climate we’ve created. Kids can come to school and feel safe and can have a productive experience here, and I think we’ve done a great job with the staff in terms of growing to be the leaders of our community.

Q: Is there anything you wish you could have done differently that you weren’t able to do in your time here?

A: There will be time to reflect on that. I’m not at that point yet, and I can’t focus as much on that as I am on trying to finish strong. I certainly wish we could have helped all kids. Our motto is, “Excellence in all we do, excellence for all we serve” and I think we’re striving towards excellence everyday, but I don’t think we’re there yet. I think there are still some students in our school that we can serve better. I don’t know what that may be, but I want every kid that walks in our door that says, “I want this” that we can get “that” for them. We’re not there quite yet.

Q: What will you miss the most about South?

A: It’s always the people. Buildings and schools are all the same but you miss the people. You build relationships with kids, families, colleagues you work with every day. That’s what I’ll miss the most. It’s been a great ride and it’s been hard for me to think about it ending yet. Graduation will be rough. I’m proud of the work we’ve done here. I’m proud of being here and being a part of the story. I look forward to hearing about all the great things that will happen at South in the future.

Q: Speaking of “the people” is there anyone you’d like to thank?

A: I couldn’t. You’d have to list every single staff member’s name. Everybody here has helped contribute to my success. My goal as principal is always to make others jobs easier so they can be successful. There have certainly been a lot of people who have contributed to my success, and I can’t thank everybody enough. But if I had to name one person it would have to be Francey, my secretary. She’s my right hand gal every day. She’s amazing and has always been amazing to me and I can never thank her enough.

Q: Is there any reason for moving on?

A: No. I wasn’t searching to leave Plainfield South. I’m already happy here and wasn’t looking to leave. I had a lot of schools offer me opportunities and I chose not to pursue those. Yorkville certainly pursued me quite vigorously for a couple months and I finally agreed to at least consider. After meeting the school and doing some different things it seemed like an excellent opportunity and again, to be able to contribute to the story. They’re in a different place then we are in terms of where they need to go. My goal is always to serve the community and right now that’s the next challenge for me. South’s in a good place now. At this point South may need a new perspective to go further. I’m sure the next person is going to be awesome, and I’ll do everything I can to help.


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