It's the beginning of second period, only 8:30, and I still am not fully awake. As the morning announcements erupt over the intercom throughout the school, I pretend to dose off. The announcements begin with the usual obligatory information about club meetings, reminders, and the SAT work of the day. Then, our principal closes with "Keep your hands and negative comments to yourself. Treat others as you wish to be treated. And remember that the teachers are in charge of the classes at all times." Maybe no one pays any attention to this daily adage, but there is a strong message within those words. With this opportunity I would like to share with you my principal's beliefs and the changes our school has made because of him.
As a principal, setting standards and goals for one's school is crucial to its continuous improvements. As I see it, my principal renews the vision of such pioneers as Joe Clark, Martin Luther King Jr., and Miss Lucy Craft Laney. His beliefs are stated:
"I believe the principal is the instructional leader of the school and that his/her leadership must establish the quality culture in which students learn. This culture must be committed to helping all children achieve excellence by treating them as being intelligent and capable of doing challenging work. I believe as students respond to the education experience it must be the expectation that they will recognize that school is a challenge, privilege, a responsibility, a right, and an opportunity.
Fighting, running down hallways, screaming and yelling, profanity, food fights, and random chaos was a typical day at Laney when I entered as a freshman in 2001. Thank God, that was the last year of that; for beginning in 2002, Laney's students have been focused on academics, respect, athletics, and discipline. Undoubtedly, the reason for these changes is due to our principal. We were blessed to be given a principal who isn't scared of change and works towards improvement and success.
If you haven't figured out by now, the principal I am speaking of is none other than Dr. Hawthorne E. Welcher, Sr., a man who works diligently to continue Miss Lucy Craft Laney's legacy. So this February I would like to honor Dr. Welcher, because he is a truly an awesome principal who reaches out to make a difference in our quest for a lifelong education.