MERCERVILLE — South Gallia students and staff recently saw how their school operates from a different perspective.
Each week a name is randomly selected and that person gets to shadow Principal Bray Shamblin for a day learning how the administration works.
Keristen Howell, a senior at South Gallia, was fortunate enough to have her name drawn last Friday, so Thursday she spent the day not in her classes but following Shamblin and assisting him with his work. On the docket for the day included some of the regular items of a principal, patrolling the hallway and sending students to class. It also included making a special announcement that few students would get to do so.
South Gallia had the highest attendance in the county school district, and as a reward they will travel to Dayton, Ohio to visit the United States Air Force Museum. Howell had the honor of revealing that to the student body.
To be selected for the program, students had to drop their name on a slip in a box in the front office from which it could be chosen. Last Friday Keirsten was hopeful it would be her name.
“I thought it would be cool to see how things work in the office for a day,” said Howell. “He does a lot, especially having to deal with parents all day. To see some things go on around the school I think he deals with a lot of things throughout the school and does things very well, I’m not sugar coating that.”
Howell also had the chance to make a new rule for the day, which she used to her advantage.
“We’re going to let the kids go early to lunch ten minutes, but seniors get to go first,” stated Howell.
Not only is Howell getting to make an impact for the day, she also is using her time shadowing Shamblin to implement a new program during lunch. During the lunch period many students sit around with not much to do, Howell wanted to change that. Howell suggested a trivia game that everyone could get involved in.
“She wanted to add something fun at lunch, instead of just sitting around, we can throw it up on the projector and play a game one day a week to see if we can boost moral and camaraderie. It was Keirstin’s idea,” said Shamblin.
The principal for a day program is a part of the 20/20 vision plan the administration has been working through.
“We want our students to be leaders, and this is just another component of that. We’re doing the vision and mission statement which was updated last month with more collaboration and leadership,” said Shamblin. “It’s twofold. It’s a benefit for me, so I can steal an idea and in turn pay it forward to the school and it also gives them insight to what we do.”
Staff also got to participate in the program, for similar reasons to the students. According to Shamblin the program gives students and staff a new perspective on how the office works, and provides the office with feedback and insight from those they work to support.
Teachers often have to discipline students by sending them to the office, but they don’t get the chance to see how the administration deals with that child. That insight and background can better enable teachers to work with students struggling with personal difficulties they might not otherwise be aware of.
“It’s an opportunity for the staff to share ideas with us, what can we do more efficiently, how can we interact better with our students and staff, and maybe they have an idea, they see things with a fresh set of eyes that we just aren’t seeing and what can we do to change those things up,” said Shamblin. “Maybe there are ideas that the student has that we as adults just don’t see. They can help provide a fresh look and a fresh take on things and maybe a modern update to somethings that we need to be doing to address their needs and wants in the classroom.”
The program will continue weekly throughout the school year, drawing one student a week. Administration will examine the program and consider it for next year as well.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.