Head of Houses Leaves a Lasting Legacy

A conversation with Adam Klein, Head of Houses at Trinity for seven years
Head of Houses Leaves a Lasting Legacy

After seven years, Adam Klein’s time as head of Trinity’s house system is coming to an end. Klein sat down with the ECHO to discuss his time as Head of Houses and what the house system means to him.


I would love to know what made you want to originally apply to be Head of Houses. 

I think all educators are curious. We want to learn more. I think there’s a part of us that always wants to continue to advance and improve ourselves, and prior to being Head of Houses, I was executive producer of TTV, and I did that for a number of years, and I enjoyed it. 

We had a lot of success, but I just wanted something new. Professionally, I wanted to be able to grow, and I like challenges, and so I decided that I would begin to look around for something new to do, and when the head of houses position became available, I thought that’s something that I think I would really like to do. 

I was curious about how it’s all done. I was looking at the current state of things, and Mr. Manning did an excellent job. I thought there were some ways that maybe I could improve the house system, so it was curiosity. It was wanting to improve myself professionally, but ultimately, I think it came down to me really understanding or feeling I had an understanding of the house system and the importance of the house system to Trinity High School, and I just wanted to be part of that. 


Well, actually, that brings me to my next question. How has the house system changed in your seven years as Head of Houses? 

So, when I originally took over as Head of Houses, the primary focus was really just competitions. You had marquee events. You had a lot of competition, and my predecessors did a very good job of trying to make sure that those competitions appeal to different sorts of people. 

So, a lot of the competitions are athletic in nature, and it’s an all-guy’s school, and it’s competitive, and people like those sorts of things. I think the house system has always done a good job of trying to also appeal to students’ other interests, trying to make the house system accessible to as many students as possible and pique their curiosity, their interest, and get them involved through those activities. There was a lot of emphasis placed just on competitions, and I guess we were kind of looking at how could we make the house system more well-rounded. And so it was around the 2019-20 school year when we first started talking about that and carried into the 2021 school year, about what are some ways that we could take the existing house system and try to improve it. 

There has always been kind of a service component to it, but we decided that we needed to do a bit more with that, and there has always been some leadership and character development parts to it, but how could we improve that? So, I came up with this idea of coming up with three pillars: pillars of brotherhood, of faith, and character, and trying to focus in on those three, and how can we develop those. It’s taken a while, even from when we originally rolled it out… we tried to do more with the service aspect of things, but we always knew that we wanted to try to develop the faith side of that, and really this first year that we really even rolled out, we wanted to put the faith in the faith pillar. So, it’s an ongoing sort of development of the house system, but one of the things that we tried to do was to move beyond just the house competitions, and to try to expand it out a little bit to incorporate not only the brotherhood aspect of it, but the faith and the character aspects of it. 


So, speaking of the different pillars of the house system, I’m curious to know: you’ve been in charge of a lot of competitions the past seven years. Do you have one or two that you think, “This is really fun to lead or organize”? 

I’ve always really enjoyed Rockin’.  Rockin’ … has always really been led by other people… Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Lane, Mr. Dotsey, Sister Kathy before that… all have a part, and they’re really the ones doing all the work, but … because I’m so caught up in the event itself, running the event, [I enjoy] just kind of sitting back and seeing the impact that that day has on our students. 

You get a group of freshmen who are in a house, but sometimes beyond that, they don’t really know a

Pullquote Photo

Rockin’ really, it does what it’s designed to do. It’s to try to… build that thing that we cherish here at Trinity High School, which is brotherhood.

— Adam Klein

whole lot about one another. The day starts off kind of rough, and you go to those early competitions, they participate, and there’s not much talking, there’s not much going on, but as the day goes on, usually right before lunchtime or right after lunch, things start to click, and you see the guys talking to one another. The smiles on their faces, the conversations that they’re having… they get really excited about participating in these events. So they’re participating in those events, but what they’re doing is they’re kind of tearing down some of those walls, or those facades, that they oftentimes put up, and they’re just kind of being their truth, their authentic selves, and by the end of it, they’re just super excited about it…they’re celebrating. You’d think they’ve been together a whole season, you know, playing soccer, or whatever, but it’s just been one day. So I think that Rockin’ really, it does what it’s designed to do. It’s to try to give those guys an opportunity to know one another, also to get to know some of the adult leaders, get to know the upperclassmen within their house, and really try to begin to build that thing that we cherish here at Trinity High School, which is brotherhood. So that’s one event that, year in, year out, I just love Rockin’ and what it can do. 

One event that just kind of sticks out in my mind as being one of my favorites was last year, the marquee event: the Trinity versus St. X volleyball game. There was a lot of anticipation behind that particular match, and it went back and forth, and it was just this amazing thing. I had never seen a group of students, cheering as much, or maybe perhaps even louder and prouder than they have at a football state championship… this was such a big game. 

We just really wanted to beat St. X in volleyball, and you could see that energy flowing into our players, and really it kind of helped support them. It was just a really neat event to be part of. When the game was over, people were like, “What just happened?” Everyone was so excited, and they were jumping around. It was a neat event to even have a small hand in making such an event possible. And maybe having some students who wouldn’t normally come to a volleyball game to be encouraged to go to help support their house, but ultimately support those guys on the court. Then have that payoff of them beating St. X. Just being part of something that was a really, really a cool moment for the volleyball team and for everybody that was there.  


Love it, love it. I can imagine there’s plenty of great memories. What has been, or is, your favorite part of being Head of Houses?  

Prior to being head of houses, I had done some coaching. I’ve helped coach soccer, and I’ve helped coached cross country, and I’ve been moderator of some clubs, and one of my favorite aspects of being a coach, or being a moderator, was just getting to know the players, getting to know the members of that club on a different level. I try to be personable. I try to use humor in the classroom. I try to do things like that, but ultimately, you’re the teacher, and you’re trying to impart this knowledge that they need to know; it’s just not the same sort of dynamic or relationship that you have in the classroom. When you are a coach, or when you’re a moderator, you can really get to know those kids on a personal level, and get to know things about them that you probably would never know in the classroom. 

So the house system, and then being Head of Houses, gave me the opportunity to do that. By being part of all these different events, helping develop and carry outand facilitate these different events, I got to know people, and I got to see someone come in as a freshman, and see them kind of develop over the years through the different competitions and events. And a lot of people, that’s how they know me, they know me as Mr. Klein, Head of Houses, but I’ve always tried to talk to the guys, and try to get to know them. So that’s the part that I think I’ve really enjoyed the most about being Head of Houses. Just a cool way to peek behind the curtains, and oftentimes see what these guys are really kind of made up, and what their true personalities are.  


There might be a little overlap here, but can you explain what Trinity’s house system means to you?

I think Trinity has always done an excellent job of trying to provide as many opportunities for students to feel like they are part of something, and oftentimes part of something bigger than themselves. 

You may not be big enough to be a lineman, or you may not have the comfort to do speech and debate, but there’s something in the house system that everyone can find to be part of it.

— Adam Klein

Whether you are a member of the quick recall team, or the speech and debate team, and that’s your niche, and that’s how you contribute to Trinity, so that’s how you develop as a person, is through your involvement in that activity. Whether you’re a basketball player, a hockey player, or a football player, whatever, that might be your niche, and those are your people, and that’s your contribution to Trinity. The house system is just one more way that you can be part of something. You can be part of Trinity High School, be something bigger than yourself, and I love that aspect of it. I think that oftentimes students feel like they may not always need the house system, because they have those other support networks, those things that they’re involved in through activities or sports, but the house system is the one thing that everyone can do. 

You may not be big enough to be a lineman, or you may not have the comfort to do speech and debate, but there’s something in the house system that everyone can find to be part of it. Even if it’s just going to a game, going to a marquee event and supporting it — that’s something that you can do to help contribute to your house. And like I said, like with that volleyball match, kids that have maybe never been to a volleyball game before were part of something really special that night. 


Well, clearly you were meant for the job from that response. So, with the Head of Houses position being taken over by Mr. Wesley Thomas, what are you going to do now? What’s next for Adam Klein?  

I’m going to miss the house system. I really am. But I’m still doing the activity side of things. I’ll still be overseeing all of the clubs, activities, intramural sports and the dances. I’ll still be busy. It’ll be a different type of busy. There are things that I have wanted to do with activities that I haven’t really had the chance to. I just didn’t have the time or maybe the energy to do the things I want to do to develop activities here at Trinity. So, I’m going to focus a little bit more on that.  

Also, through this, as Head of Houses, I had a reduction in the number of classes that I teach so I could have more time to devote to the house system. I’m going to be able to go back now and teach English. I started here at Trinity teaching journalism and teaching English. I’m excited to be back in the classroom teaching English. I’ll still be able to teach video production and video production II. 

But there’s kind, of in the back of my mind, a thought that this was this was what I’m looking for. I’d love to have an opportunity to get back into the classroom and teach some English, so I’m excited about that. That’s what’s next for me.  

Also, I’ve worked very closely with Mr. Thomas over the last five years or so. He cares a great deal for the house system and has a lot of great ideas, things that are going to make the house system better. I wish him the best. And, typically activities director does not have an advising period. That’s extra time. I was like, “No, I just was the head of houses. I want an advising group. I want to be in a house. I want to be able to do things.” So I have the opportunity to continue to work with Mr. Thomas. He and I like to bounce ideas off of one another. And I think that what he’s got planned, what’s in store for the house system, again, is going to make it better than it is now. 


Congratulations, Mr. Klein, on an amazing contribution to the lives of thousands of students. Your hard work as Head of Houses will live on in the appreciation of countless students, faculty, and staff.


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