Getting to know Mike Havener


The man slated to replace Dave Holley as principal this summer is no stranger to KHS. Mike Havener, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, started his career as a KHS business teacher. He spent five years in that role before moving to a position as a grade-level principal for eight years. Now, he is returning to the KHS halls as principal, and The Kirkwood Call took an opportunity to help students get to know their new principal before the upcoming school year.

The Kirkwood Call: What do you envision yourself doing as principal?

Mike Havener: We’re here obviously, number one, to get an education. With that said, I like to have fun and to interact with students. That’s the main reason I wanted to come back to Kirkwood High School. So, I have experience here, and I think that the students I’ve had the opportunity to work with in the past could tell you I am fun. I am serious, and I love Kirkwood. I don’t want to be anywhere but Kirkwood.


KC: Since you love Kirkwood, do you live in the area?

MH: I don’t live in Kirkwood. We’ve thought about moving, but we just built a house two years ago. We will move to Kirkwood. I can’t say it will be tomorrow, but eventually. We have a 2-year-old, so the plan is Kirkwood at some point.

KC: Your wife (Laura Havener) works in the district as well. What does she do?

MH: [She is] assistant principal at Nipher. She used to be here as a math teacher. We have one daughter, Peyton. She just turned 2.

KC: Did you grow up around Kirkwood?

MH: I actually grew up in Affton, in South County. I went through all the Affton schools, from kindergarten through high school. It’s just about 10 miles away, so I’m a St. Louis native. A lot of people actually don’t know this, but my parents both went to Webster. Actually, my entire family besides my brother and I went to Webster.


KC: Where did you go to college?

MH: I was a minor league hockey player for a while, so I went to a lot of different colleges my first two years, and then I ended up at the University of Missouri. I graduated from Mizzou. My Master’s is from UMSL. I have a specialist’s from Webster University, and I’m almost finished with my doctorate at UMSL. I, hopefully, will be done by the time school starts next year. At some point next year I will be Dr. Havener. I just don’t want to jinx myself.

KC: What are your thoughts on Webster?

MH: Webster is our friendly rival, but really, all I want to do is beat Webster. Main goal.


KC: What is your plan for the upcoming years?

MH: Working with the students. That is the main reason I wanted to come back, to work with the students and the staff, as well. This is a great place. We’re not going to make any major changes. We’ll look to get better just like Dr. Holley did and anyone would. If we need to make changes inside the classroom or outside, we will in every possible area.

Favorite Sports Team: “I love the Cardinals, but I’m a big hockey fan, so the Blues as well.”

Favorite Food: “Pizza. Standard pepperoni. Everyone loves pepperoni. Being St. Louis born and raised, I’d have to go with hot Imo’s. No cake, cookies, ice cream, chocolate or soda, though. But I’m not healthy. Hard candy is my downfall.”

Favorite Color: “Red, of course. Kirkwood Red. My brother literally makes fun of me for wearing so much red.”