Interview with Ms. Flynn About The Beginning of The New School Year
What are your initial feelings about the new school year?
I am more excited about this year because I finally get to start the new school year right. I came last year in the middle of the year — December 12th was my first day —, I didn't know anyone, and now I feel like I have that good portion of the year under my belt. I had the summer to plan with Mr. Hosier and Ms. Joseph, so now, starting fresh feels the way it should feel.
What are your likes and dislikes about the new school year, if you have any yet?
Well, I might say something that students might have mixed emotions about, but I really do like that we are beginning the school year with a strong emphasis on school safety. I think that everyone has been really responsive and truly understands the importance of school safety and the changes that have been made.
What is your assessment of the community based off of the students you have met thus far?
I'm going to go back to what I said when I first started here because it feels the same, except stronger. There is just something so special and unique about this community that's different from where I came from. I came from a 7-12 high school much larger than EHS, and it didn't feel like a family like it does here. I am now embarking on my first full year, and in the time I have been here, I feel that students feel comfortable coming to see me, and I have developed relationships with parents. That should be the case, right? It's not just the assistant principal who is the disciplinarian, and it's great that it's not like that here. Even though we enacted something that students may not like, such as the new ID card policy, they have been great and so respectful, and I love that.
Have you gotten back into some kind of a routine since the start of the school year?
Even though administrators work 12 months, I had the time to be able to breathe a little bit and to really work on the planning for this school year. Summer is just a different pace; we really get time to work so closely together with no time constraints and no one knocking on the door to plan for what I hope will be an amazing school year. So those summer months, as fast as they went, were really the time to start fresh and build up the momentum for this year. That's why I feel like it's such a strong start to the school year.
Do you have any more ideas about improving school security for the new generation of students?
I do feel like lanyards and IDs, as well as having visitors sign in and show their license, is very much a beginning step in the right direction. One thing that I think is most important and probably on people's minds is the way our campus is set up. Something that I think that we're trying to focus on, at least when we're in the buildings, is that we need to be more secure. We will start to have more conversations about the “why” of drills and what we would do in a real life situation if one occurred. We will also invite the police department to school to work with us on drills and safety exercises. Our school community should feel comfortable having the police on campus in helpful ways rather than thinking something is wrong because they are here. The steps we are taking to improve school safety here and the responsiveness and support of the entire school community has most certainly put us on the right path toward improvement in the safety of all students and staff. I look forward to an amazing full year with everyone!