Our site administrator is what most students would call a people person. In fact, on more than one occasion a student has referred to Michael Roessler as “the handsome man in charge.”
Michael says that while that is nice to hear, it is also very embarrassing. He says, even though he is often perceived as having it all, it is mostly a facade.
“Look, we all have issues,” he laughed. “Sometimes I just don’t show it as much as everyone else does, but sometimes I do.”
In fact, in his first year at Highlands Community Charter School, Michael was going through a divorce.
“It was not easy”, Michael said, but, as he sees it, we all must prioritize and learn to deal with the good and bad that come our way.
Before his time at Highlands, Michael’s work history was rich with experience in business assistance, management, and public service. He worked in the restaurant industry, an environmental engineering firm, the California Community College system, and for local government agencies. So when he started at Highlands, as a teacher of Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Career Success, his horizons were expanded.
“It was empowering to work with this population of students. I finally felt like I could be open with the people who surrounded me at work,” he said. “It was the first time I started to share my story.”
“I would share that I was adopted – that I have a twin – that I’m looking for my mom,” Michael continued. “Look, we are all the same – I just happened to have gotten my high school diploma when I ‘should have.’ That’s it.”
Because of his childhood, Michael can empathize with students at Highlands, and show them that even the biggest hurdles in life are surmountable.
“To the core I am insecure, and I’m sensitive,” he said. I always think, on February 24th, does my mom think about us? Does she even think about us on February 24th? At 8:12 and 8:21 in the morning. Bob was born at 8:12 and I was born at 8:21. And does she think about us on that day?”
Michael acknowledges that he is unbelievably grateful to his adoptive parents for providing for his brother and himself. He emphasises that wondering about his birth mother does not take anything away from his Mom and Dad or as Michael says, “Mom and Pop.”
So while, from the exterior, Michael may seem unrelatable in his perfectly pressed button down shirt and black slacks, sitting in his office, and holding important meetings, he is actually much more like you than you may think.
In fact, usually, you will see Michael wandering around campus throughout the day, poking his head into classrooms to say hello, or kneeling down to pick up trash off the parking lot ground.
He is involved and invested in our school, and his office door is normally wide open.