A veteran in the education field, Michelle Hellwege is the current principal of Saylor Elementary School. Having worked in a variety of Lake County school districts over the years, Hellwege’s current position is her first in Porter County.
Born on the east coast, and later living in Wisconsin and Venezuela, Hellwege attended Valparaiso University to obtain her undergraduate degree in elementary education and stayed in the Northwest Indiana area after graduating. She started as a teacher, and in 2013, transitioned to administrative roles, leading her to the position she has now.
“I enjoy working with children and helping in their academic and social development,” Hellwege said. “During my days as a teacher, I realized that I like working alongside other teachers and finding ways to improve our methods and each other.”
Hellwege stated that being positive is the most important factor of the job to her. It helps to keep her motivated to overcome challenges throughout the day.
“As both a teacher and as a school administrator, having and maintaining a positive outlook is the key to success,” Hellwege said. “In addition, being able to cooperate with others also helps immensely and makes solving problems much easier.”
Hellwege went on to explain that a lot of the educators she worked alongside have been her biggest influences, and her husband and children have always helped her during the highs and the lows.
“All of these talented individuals have helped me grow as an educator and as a person, as well as further developed my skill set,” Hellwege explained. “My family is also very supportive of my work. I strive to be a positive role model for my three daughters and instill in them the value of self-improvement.”
“Every day is an opportunity to get better,” Hellwege said. “Creating a culture of support and positivity in the school and making sure everyone is happy here is my goal. In this field, the ‘relationship’ part of this job is so important and it needs to constantly be the focus when making decisions.”
Helewege concluded by praising the Northwest Indiana area for being so welcoming and friendly.
“I truly feel blessed to be where I am at today,” Hellwege said. “After being here in Northwest Indiana for 30 years, I am confident in saying that this is my home. The work ethic, diversity of people, and emphasis on family that this region has makes it a really nice place to live and work.”