By John L. Braese
VALE – For the second time within one year, Alisha McBride is doing double duty. While handling the daily duties as principal of Vale Elementary School, McBride is also overseeing the district, including the building of a new middle school, as interim superintendent.
McBride is also maintaining a personal life as a wife and mother to four boys while preparing for Christmas dinner at her home.
“I have a great support system,” said McBride. “My husband, Toby, is a great dad and shares the household duties. I am always confident that if I have a late night, when I get home, the boys are fed, the homework is done and everyone is happy. I would not be able to do this without him.”
After serving one stint as interim superintendent, McBride said she was flattered by this second offer.
“It was an honor to be asked again,” she said. “I think it is important we have consistency in the job for the community and students.
The school is currently in the process of hiring an interim elementary school principal to relieve McBride of the some of her double duties. Resumes are arriving in the office and a decision is expected early next year.
However, balancing two jobs and a family many times equates to early work days, late nights and weekends.
“I get up at 4:45 a.m. each morning,” said McBride. “I am at the school by 7, so I leave about 6:20 a.m. I usually leave here by 5:30 p.m. unless there is a meeting or something I need to take care of at the school.”
With school age children of her own, McBride said dad usually is the one making breakfast and getting the kids off to school.
“Once the kids are in bed, I usually work at home until around 11,” she said.
Weekends are no picnic as there are athletic events to attend involving her children, work emails to return or reading to catch up on involving the new middle school.
“The construction has been the largest learning curve for me,” McBride said. “It has taken quite a bit of time to catch up on the bond project, learning public contracting and looking at contracts. It has all been very time consuming.”
Due to timing, the one project McBride does not face this year is contract negotiations.
“In the limited dealings I have with the teacher’s union, they have been good to work with,” she said. “I have great staff and have policies and procedures in place that people understand and follow. Staff know I hold people accountable and also myself accountable.”
McBride’s upcoming Christmas is similar to many in the area. A trip to Mom’s house is planned with dinner with family at the McBride home later in the day.
“We host Christmas dinner at our house,” she said. “My husband cooks the prime rib and I do the rest. Family members coming over bring desserts.”
As for presents coming the children’s way come Christmas morning, McBride was cautious to release too much information for an article prior to the big morning.
“My sons are involved in competitive roping and have asked for spurs,” she said.
After serving two times as interim, the question arises if McBride will be the name when the call for permanent superintendent comes.
“If my vision for the district aligns with the board, we will have a conversation about the position becoming permanent,” said McBride. “I love this district and want to see us get back on track.”
A STORY OF A TRACTOR
Alisha McBride has confirmed the story is true-her husband did hide a new tractor.
“We had talked about purchasing a new tractor for some time, but I never knew he actually went out and did it,” McBride said.
Well, he did. Toby McBride just forget to mention the purchase.
For a couple months, she would go to work, he would feed in his new machine. And then park it behind the hay stack.
Until one day when the mechanic showed up at the door, asking where the tractor was located he was scheduled to service.
“I told him we did not have a tractor scheduled to service,” she said. “He said we had recently purchased a new tractor and the service was part of the contract. I just looked at him and then he started to look panicked.”
Shortly afterward, McBride got a look at the family’s newest acquisition.
“We laugh about it now,” said McBride. “Plus, a new dining room table appeared in the house.”