CORNELIUS – Hough High School Principal Laura Rosenbach always wanted to be an educator.

Despite studying political science at Davidson College, the Pennsylvania native went on to earn a master’s degree in school administration and a doctorate in education from UNC Charlotte. 

“It was one of those things where I don’t remember wanting anything else than besides being a teacher,” she said.

After teaching social studies at Vance High, Rosenbach became the school’s assistant principal. She took an assistant principal’s position at Mallard Creek for three years before becoming principal at Bradley Middle.

“I think the hardest part is trying to maintain those relationships with kids as you move up the admin ladder,” she said.

Rosenbach sets aside time daily to spend on instruction, whether with students or faculty, through her involvement with the School Administration Manager program. It’s a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools program Rosenbach will participate in while leading Hough High.

Such time can be spent leading a book study, helping kids with science projects, or co-teaching with teachers. It’s important because it reminds Rosenbach was it’s like to be in the classroom, she said.

“I could get stuck in here (her office) answering emails and phone calls, but if I’m going to lead change, I’ve got to know what’s going on,” she said.

Rosenbach said her vision is to make sure every student is ready and equipped to do whatever they want to do once they graduate.

For Hough High, which had a 95 percent graduation rate for the 2011-12 school year, Rosenbach wants to make sure that top students are pushed to their potential and struggling students are having their specific needs met so they can succeed.

“Teachers have the hard job,” she said. “If I can get teachers what they need, then they can do the hard work.”

One of the biggest challenges Rosenbach will face is staying in tune with the instruction as the volume of teachers, students and parents increases. Hough High’s student population is about 2,100 compared to Bradley Middle’s 1,200 students. However, having experience in high schools that are more than 2,000 students, Rosenbach said it’ll just be a matter of getting used to it again.

“It’s so hard,” Rosenbach said about leaving Bradley Middle. “This place is a phenomenal place. Its teachers are just so committed to kids. I’ve never been in a school that’s so committed to kids and the teachers work so hard.”