Controversial Hartland Administrator's Track Record Gives Her Credibility

Personal experience with Tracey Sahouri shows me she is a good principal.

I believe in many things.

I believe in true love and that Kermit and Miss Piggy are soul mates. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe in the original Footloose. I believe that Kim Kardashian married for love and J-Lo will find happiness. I believe in the Detroit Lions and rooting for the underdog. I believe in innocent until proven guilty. And I believe that when someone shows you their character, you believe them. I guess you can say I’m a dreamer, but I know I’m not the only one.

Like everyone else in Hartland, I have followed Tracey Sahouri’s story since it’s kind of hard not to. All my kids had Sahouri as a principal. Two are still at and one will have her again at the .

I have remained silent on what is going on with "Tracey-gate" for several reasons. The biggest one being that there has been plenty of commentary from all sides and I saw no reason to add to it. Still, I followed the boards and the discussions, (and just as a sidenote: I enjoyed you the most, Ryan — recent Hartland grad — and your generational comments) but I also believe in freedom of the press. So I'm going to take this opportunity to sound off about what is happening in this community, the one we moved to because of location and … the schools.

I believe in people. It's kind of an Anne Frank thing, I guess, but I believe in people until they prove me wrong. And for me, Tracey Sahouri has not proven to me yet that I shouldn't believe in her or feel outraged or even uncomfortable with the fact that she is now in a position at the high school where my older child goes to school. 

Many times as a parent, the occasion will present itself where you feel as though your children are getting a bum rap. I have felt this many times, raising all three of my children, that sometimes the people I trusted to care for them, screwed up. A situation would happen and as is sometimes the case, stories get blown up, people begin to freak out and my child gets caught in the crosshairs. It happens. As a parent, you learn to deal with those moments of unfairness and move on — cause you realize that not everyone will know, love and understand your child like you do.

Some teachers and administrators do, however, take the time and know what kids are all about. Last year, my son was involved in an incident involving inappropriate behavior. He was 7-years-old and a small group of his classmates started a game that as is typically the case, started off innocent and went from there.

Tracey Sahouri is the one who called me late that evening. I could hear her family in the background, so she was taking time at home to call a parent, to discuss what happened. She calmly explained the situation at school, and as I sat on the phone, shooting daggers at my child, I was already planning his punishment. From my previous experiences, I was ready for my son to take the brunt of this episode and I was already preparing for my baby to, once again, be made an "example of" with the tag line under his mug shot reading, “See kids, this is what we DON’T do in school.”

That didn’t happen though. About midway through the conversation I realized that Sahouri wasn’t going to rake my child over the coals or overblow the situation into something that it wasn’t. She explained to me that this behavior was normal and typical of the age group and that she wasn’t about to embarrass the children or blow up what had originally been an innocent game into something with my boy on the firing line.

That is when I began to breathe again. This woman understood. She got the fact that sometimes, no matter how hard we want them to stay the course, there are times when our kids just insist on going down that off-beaten path.

Tracey Sahouri showed me her character that day. It was only once, but I believe her.

I will always appreciate the woman, the mother and the principal who called me that evening. The rational, professional educator who reassured me that my child was normal and that instead of going all over-the-top and scarring my child, she stated that the issue had been addressed with all the students involved and taken care of. 

Tracey Sahouri did her job. She defended my innocent child and protected him from what a different person or different principal could have turned into a fiery pit of damaging lectures and overzealous commentary.

Sometimes, when someone shows you their character, you believe them. And sometimes when you believe in certain things, you continue to have faith. In people. In society. In the rules that govern us and the community in which we live.

I thank Tracey Sahouri for not throwing my son into a fiery pit of accusations and judgements, so yes, I will extend her that same courtesy now. Because I also believe in doing unto others as you would have others do unto you. 

S. Enderle November 05, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Thank you Tatum, for stating the obvious in such an eloquent way!
yvette November 05, 2011 at 09:31 PM
I will support Mrs. Sahouri as long as it takes.
Christofer Machniak November 05, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Hi Greg, Let me take more blame for those minor mistakes … As Hartland editor, I should have caught them. … Thanks for pointing out, though … I've now updated the column. - Chris
Laura Bickel November 06, 2011 at 12:29 AM
Very well stated!
Kim Schemansky November 06, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Thank you Tatum for being a voice of reason and sharing your experience with Tracey. I'm sure there are hundreds of stories just like it in this community as she is a principal who has positively affected (not sure if that is the correct usage, affect or effect!) thousands of children's lives Hartland.


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