Elementary Education and Special Education
Chief of School Leadership for the Kenosha Unified School District
William Haithcock ’91 has worked for the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) for over 30 years. He served as a teacher at Whittier Elementary School, a teacher consultant at Hillcrest School, principal at Bullen Middle School, and founding principal at Harborside Academy. He has received several awards throughout his career, including teacher of the year and principal of the year. Mr. Haithcock is now chief of school leadership for the KUSD, helping to support schools and principals and to improve school safety.
“If given the chance to do it all over again, I would definitely attend Carthage!”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“When I was in middle school and early high school, I was not a strong student, nor was I pointed in the right direction. People at school helped my mother get me straightened out and headed to college. I have spent my career trying to do the same for others — to repay the generosity that others gave to me. I tell young educators all the time that the intrinsic value that comes from giving back is priceless. I feel as though I have been allowed to spend my professional career doing something that truly matters. Not everyone gets that through their profession. There is no doubt for me, I picked the right profession.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“I played football while I was at Carthage. Sports to me requires a certain level of tenacity to perform at a high level. I graduated appreciating the value of hard work and understanding the importance of being a good member of a team. I appreciate what the coaches and my fellow players did to help me grow as a person.
“I was also in a fraternity (Delta Omega Nu) while at Carthage. There are probably more fun stories than sincere ones, but this was an opportunity to be a part of a group. Those relationships have been amazingly supportive during so many challenging times in my life. 30+ years later, those relationships are as strong as they were when I was 19.
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“Growing up in Palatine, Ill. did not really give me all the experiences I needed to teach in an urban environment like Kenosha. Most of my Carthage classes helped me by requiring field experience in schools. ”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“I chose Carthage based on the strength of the education program. I knew coming out of high school that I wanted to be a teacher.”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
“Field experience in Kenosha schools caused me to be interested in the district. Before student teaching, I stayed in town that last year to work in a summer program for students with disabilities. Those connections led to my first job at KUSD.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“Professor Loyd Mellis was an important person in my life. Prof. Mellis was one of the education professors when I was at Carthage. He was always a person who truly believed in me and my potential in education, which was important because I was not convinced at the time that I would be a good teacher. The confidence he gave me was incredibly important to me.
“Mike Larry, John Coursey, Tim Rucks, and Bob Bonn are just a few of the other Carthage staff members who have had a huge influence on my life. I am so grateful to them all.”