Jim Elias, the leader of children’s ministries at Woodburn Missionary Church, hadn’t set foot in Woodlan Junior-Senior High School in about 30 years, the last time being when he was in high school and played basketball in the gym, he said.
But Elias walked the halls Wednesday, greeting students he knew through the church in a new role as the school’s Principal for the Day. The East Allen County Schools event invited community members to serve as its schools’ principal for one day to get an inside look into how schools operate and what the job of principal is like.
“Anything that we as a school can do to better communicate with our community is a good thing,” said Ron Kammeyer, the school’s principal all other days of the year. He said the event helps cultivate a stronger relationship with the community.
“When executives take a day out of their busy work schedules to see what’s going on in our schools, it shows tremendous commitment to education and dedication to the community,” the district said in a statement.
Elias was invited by the district to participate. He said it was interesting seeing students inside the school environment. He observed classrooms, helped Kammeyer explain a new incentive program for students, monitored lunch periods and was invited to attend a staff meeting after school.
“It’s been a neat experience,” he said. “If you get the opportunity, you need to (participate). I drive by the school every day on my way to work, and I’ve never been in here.”
EACS Principals for the dayCedarville Elementary – Tim Richards, Leo/Cedarville Town Council member
East Allen Alternative – Chris Schenkel, Schenkel & Sons Inc.
East Allen University – Diane Gibson, Harding PTO president
Heritage Elementary – Bev Reidenbach, president, Monroeville Chamber of Commerce
Heritage Junior-Senior High – Kent Castleman, Cornerstone Youth Center
Highland Terrace Elementary – Chris Baker, The Etica Group
Leo Elementary – Bob Francis, Steel Dynamics
Leo Junior-Senior High – Vince Buchanan, president/CEO, New Haven Chamber
Meadowbrook Elementary – Bob Nelson, New Haven Bulletin
New Haven Middle – Steve Poiry, New Haven police chief
New Haven High – New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald
Paul Harding Junior High – Lamont Freeman, business owner/Harding High graduate
Prince Chapman Academy – Albert Brownlee, Genesis Outreach Inc.
Southwick Elementary – John J.J. Foster, Fort Wayne Urban League
Woodlan Intermediate and Primary – Pastor Dave Souers, Westwood Fellowship Church
Woodlan Junior-Senior High – Pastor Jim Elias, Woodburn Missionary Church