Citizen Spotlight: ESHS Welcomes Dr. Sara Wickham as Principal

Dr. Sara Wickham is ready to welcome students for the 2023-24 school year (photo Mackenzie Cole).

Amidst a series of shifts in school district leadership, a particularly significant change is taking place at Excelsior Springs High School as they welcome Dr. Sara Wickham to her first role as head principal. With a wealth of innovative ideas and a surge of enthusiasm, Wickham brings a fresh perspective and energy to the position. Dr. Wickham has been teaching for over 20 years, starting out in Centralia, MO for her first 2 years, she taught there as a middle school teacher before realizing that she was “more of a high school person.” With that lesson being learned, she moved to Liberty to teach English where she worked her way into the Assistant Principal position of the school. She worked in her role there for seven years before starting in Excelsior this July.

Wickham has some big plans for the upcoming year at Excelsior Springs High School. One of her first plans for the fall is to address mental health and help curtail bullying at the school. To kick off her plan, she has invited the No Hate Tour, a BMX group who rally against bullying, to ESHS. The group specializes in “delivering critical bullying prevention tools, techniques, and information to students in a relatable, peer-to-peer manner.” Wickham also is overseeing the development of two new wellness centers in the counseling office, to help kids be able to relax and reset during stressful schooldays.

These ideas, along with the ongoing weight room renovation, are a part of the district’s continuous school improvement plan (CSIP). “They certainly fit in with our goals there to make sure that students have what they need to be supported.” Dr. Wickham said, “you know, mentally, physically and socially.” Another area Dr. Wickham works on is communication. She’s already made one huge improvement in releasing the newsletter. With the newsletter, she plans to give out information to both students and parents to inform them about things that are going on at ESHS.

Outside of work, Dr. Wickham loves to try new restaurants, it’s been one of the most exciting things about coming to Excelsior. She’s tried several local spots and has already found some favorites. For breakfast, Opportunity Cafe and the pesto wrap for lunch at the Mercantile. “You can’t go wrong with the brisket sandwich and the corn nuggets at Wabash,” she says. During the summer, she also enjoys being able to explore nature. “Walking, hiking, I got to do a little bit of kayaking and zip lining in the summer,” she said.

So far, her favorite part of Excelsior has been the sense of community. “I am just really excited to be part of the Community pride here,” Dr. Wickham enthusiastically stated. “I love that it’s a one high school town and everybody has that Tiger Spirit.” As the school year draws near Dr. Wickham encouraged students to put their best foot forward and take a chance on themselves. “Take some steps to get involved and be part of something at the high school whether it’s a club, sport, theater or music,” she encouraged. “Push yourself, take some risks with your classes and step outside of your comfort zone.”

*in an earlier version of this story published 8/13/23 we mistakenly spelled Dr. Wickham’s first name. Correction was made on 8/17/23.

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