Asukaslehti 2/2022: Principal Mika Luukkonen rides a bike and thinks about the future of the high school
A new work community, new students, new types of tasks.
There are reasons why Mika Luukkonen decided to apply for the position of principal of Imatra co-ed high school.
The shorter commute was also attractive: the distance from Luukkonen's home in Tiuruniemi to the high school is just under 10 kilometers.
—I had such an ambitious idea that I would come to work by bike throughout the year, he reveals.
How has it started?
-Very. This morning I came exceptionally by car.
A valid reason, it turns out: the staff had a planning meeting in the morning, to which everyone was allowed to bring their own offerings.
Luukkonen had to bring the rolls he had baked to the meeting. It was easier with the car.
New house, new opportunities
The work at Imatra has started quickly. The new building, which was commissioned a couple of years ago in the middle of the corona pandemic, has brought its own spice to the work.
— The commissioning of the premises is still in progress. We search for the best operating methods and think together with the entire house staff about what pedagogy means in these facilities.
A kindergarten, primary school and high school operate under the same roof. Luukkonen considers that to be a strength that must be learned to utilize.
You have to look for opportunities openly anyway, because the number of students is decreasing.
—There needs to be a fundamental discussion about where we want to take the high school in Imatra. Are we willing, for example, to accept foreign students? And what kind of cooperation do we do across municipal borders?
There are always options
Upper secondary education has changed a lot in recent years. Concerns about the coping skills of high school students have become public.
The pressures have increased, Luukkonen also confirms.
One of the reasons is the reform of the university entrance exams, as a result of which more young people than before get their post-graduate study places based on their matriculation essays.
However, Luukkosen has good news: no one's life is ruined as a result of the choices made in high school.
—The Finnish education system always offers backup options. You can also still apply to study through entrance exams or open pathways. If you have enough motivation, you will be able to study the field you want sooner or later.
He lives in Korvenkylä,
Studied in Jyväskylä, had a long career in Lappeenranta
Moved to the position of principal of Imatra high school from the position of principal of Lappeenranta Lyseo high school
Enjoys high school because of the interesting work environment: "You can have really interesting conversations with the students."