When I was a youth, the only children that knew the principal were the ones who misbehaved during class. And the only parents who knew the principal were the parents of the children who acted up. I never knew my principal. I knew his name. I knew what he looked like. But because the only children, who actually knew him personally, were the “bad” children, I had taught myself to be afraid of my principal.
Growing up, the principals were always male. A female principal was unheard of. As I have checked out schools in ours and surrounding districts, I am finding that it is rare to have a male principal – at least over the elementary schools.
Two of the female principals I’ve encountered seem to have sticks up their butts, artificial smiles, and dagger themed tones to their voices. Not pleasant. But the principal at Jenna’s present school is so so different from any principal I have ever encountered in my life.
Actually the principal of my elementary school may have been a loving man and didn’t fit the horrifying profile at all – but my thoughts were so much different from being a child than it is today. It’s too bad that I never understood him or saw him as a person and could only see the terminator that the “bad” children saw.
One thing that I really do like at Jenna’s school is the atmosphere. I don’t notice tension among the teachers or constant ruthlessness among the children or fear. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. As with other schools, Vantana has had its share of bullying and discipline. But it’s not just the “bad” children who get to know the principal.
Mrs. Randolf makes it a point to get to know each and every student in her school. But not just the students, but every parent as well. What a challenge! And yet she really does seem to be able to place over thousands of names to the faces. And she is such a pleasant woman!
Every Monday at lunch hour “good” and honored students are given the privilege to have lunch with her in the library. They call this event “bug lunch” though I don’t know why. How great it is for students to look forward for getting to eat lunch with the principal! They see her as a human being – someone they can joke with, but can also turn to for serious matters. I admire that!
So thank you, Mrs. Randolf. Thank you for all that you do for our children and for the teachers and for the PTO.