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Principal for a Day

By Sgt. Juan Madrigal | 12th Marine Corps District | November 19, 2019

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OAK HILLS, Calif - Community is an integral part of the United States Marine Corps. For Sgt. Mark Reinsberg, a recruiter in Victorville, Calif., giving back to his community in any way is always an opportunity worth taking advantage of.
Reinsberg participated in the Principal for a Day event at Hesperia Unified School District on Nov. 19, 2019. The event allows members of the community a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the schools in the school district.
“I love getting out there and helping with whatever it is,” said Reinsberg. “The most important part is getting out there and being involved. The more involved you are the more you genuinely care about the community and the school.”
The school he was principal for a day for was Oak Hills High School which he feels is almost a second home.
“I feel that the community has received me very well,” said Reinsberg. “Especially at Oak Hills High School. The students and the staff as well as the Oak Hills Bulldog community have been very welcoming and I honestly feel that I am a part of the Bulldog community now. In just a short amount of time I have been welcomed into the community and involved in various school events, like the military appreciation days for sporting events as well as this Principal for the Day.”
During the Principal for a Day event, several members of the community are welcomed into a school and shown the day to day life. Aside from witnessing the daily activities of the principal, participants spend some time learning about the subjects being taught at the school and also the reasoning for some of the rules and regulations.
Each school is responsible for nominating a community member to participate in the event. Because of Reinsberg’s relationship with the school, Michael Capps the principal of Oak Hills High School, decided to extend the invitation to him. He felt Marine recruiters had the same goal as educators in the school district.
“Sergeant Reinsberg impressed me with his request to sit down and have a discussion pertaining to what I expected in a Marine recruiter,” said Capps. “Marines are interested in preparing our students to be successful and well-adjusted adults.”
To Reinsberg this is all part of his goals. He recalls his time before becoming a Marine recruiter, thinking of ways he can impact his community positively and also share the opportunities he has been afforded as a Marine.
“My first goal was to get out there and educate the students as well as members of the community about the Marine Corps and the potential opportunities that it is able to provide to them,” said Reinsberg. “Most people do not have any contact with Marines in their life so my next goal was to reach out to those who would not have that opportunity and represent the Marine Corps in a positive way, making sure that I am able to have them make a decision based off of what they see rather than what they hear.”
After being principals for a day, all participants have a luncheon where they discuss their experience while also offering feedback on the school’s operations and how they will use this experience to further develop their community. For Reinsberg and others, they will use this opportunity to increase awareness at the high schools of opportunities in the Marine Corps.
“College isn’t for everybody,” said Brenda Hawk, Executive Secretary to the Deputy Superintendent. “There’s a lot of kids that prefer to go into some kind of a trade or the military so all those years of ‘oh you gotta get your Bachelors’ is not always the best pathway for some students.”
Reinsberg is grateful for the opportunity of being principal for a day. Knowing that he has more than two years to go as a recruiter, he is actively searching for opportunities to better serve his community. This event gave him insight on how the schools are developing their students so he is better prepared to share how becoming a Marine can help students achieve their goals.
“This event lets me see the value of the education these students are receiving,” said Reinsberg. “I feel as recruiters we aren’t focused on what the entirety of the students are doing after high school and we just focus on those ones that are considering the military. By doing this event my eyes have been opened to how all of these students are set up for success by the school and that I am able to educate the students on the Marine Corps as well as well assisting them with whatever comes next in life.”
Reinsberg wasn’t the only one who felt the benefits of the event. Capps agreed that Marines share similar values in which the school works to instill on their students.
“I most definitely would invite another Marine to serve as Principal for the Day, because I am certain the Marines are also looking to prepare young men and women to be successful adults,” said Capps.


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