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LaBorde looks forward to latest chapter

He took over for Towers at Waukesha West

Jan. 22, 2013

David LaBorde started his career in the publishing business after graduating from UW-Eau Claire with a journalism degree.

He soon switched to the education field and has been inside a school for more than 40 years.

So that's why when he got a call regarding the open principal's position at Waukesha West High School from the School District following the abrupt resignation of David Towers he jumped at the opportunity.

"It happened pretty quickly," said LaBorde, who lives in Waukesha. "But I think it's been a very smooth transition."

Towers resigned on Jan. 4 and four days later LaBorde took over at West.

For LaBorde, it marked a return to the high school scene. He began his career in California where he served many roles that ranged from teacher, coach, athletic director and principal at a high school.

Looking to return to the Midwest - he grew up in the Fox Cities in northeastern Wisconsin - he took a job as the Campbellsport High School principal for three years.

He then served as the principal at New Berlin West Middle/High School for 15 years before retiring after the 2009-10 school year. In the meantime, he stayed busy teaching at Carroll University in the Education Department and worked in the Whitefish Bay School District.

"I think I'm always looking for opportunities to stay involved in educating young people," LaBorde said.

When asked what appealed to him about Waukesha West, LaBorde gave a lengthy list.

"I don't know anything that's not appealing," LaBorde said. "It's a great school with a staff that is really engaged with the students.

"And we have a dedicated group of teachers who have the best interest of the kids. And the parents I've met are really supportive and welcoming."

While this is the first time he is an administrator in the Waukesha School District, LaBorde is familiar with the district. His two children are Waukesha North graduates.

LaBorde said he doesn't know how long he will be at West. But he doesn't view himself as an interim principal, either.

"I don't," he said. "I come to work not with a mind-set of an interim anything. I think that term can be taken as someone just here putting in hours until the next person comes along.

"I don't want to be perceived that way. I'm embracing my time here and I want to help the school in any way I can."

And that's what he said he's been doing his whole career.

"It's a job I take very seriously and it's a big position," said LaBorde who credited his assistant principals for helping him during this transition. "It's an unbelievable opportunity to impact students and their lives and I think education is one of the most important professions there is."

LaBorde File

Who: David LaBorde

What: New Waukesha West principal

Experience: New Berlin West Middle/High School principal (15 years); Campbellsport High School principal (three years); 22 years as a high school teacher, administrator in California

Education: UW-Eau Claire, undergraduate degree and San Diego State for his administrative degree

Interesting item: Two adult children went to Waukesha North High School

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