Officials, Business Leaders Take Part In Principal For A Day

Principal For A Day
Dr. Joseph Seabrooks, the new president of Cedar Valley College, stopped for a chat and photo with DHS Principal Arista Owens-McGowan, CMP/ECHS Principal Angela Batiste and office staff members during the morning session.

Principal For A Day Program Offers Perspective

DESOTO—On October 24, DeSoto ISD schools changed leadership hands as local officials and business leaders took over the campuses as Principal For A Day. The program, designed to allow participants to experience a day in school from the principal’s perspective, is in the fifth year in DeSoto ISD and the hands-on experience is showing positive results.

The Experience To Remember

Participants began their day before the first bell – DeSoto High School started at 7:15 a.m., middle and elementary schools started at 7:45 a.m. After checking in at the office, they were given their honorary ID badge and walkie-talkie for the day and taken on a tour of the school as the first students started to arrive.

Many participants greeted students as they entered the building. Smiling faces returned from the weekend ready to get back to business. Once the first bell rung, students were taking their seats to start the day. Many participants, meanwhile, were preparing for the morning announcements.

DeSoto City Council Member Candice Quarles cleared her throat and spoke clearly, ‘This is your Principal For the Day, Councilmember Candice Quarles. Please stand for the pledge.’

“They let me make announcements! Eeek! I wasn’t ready,” stated Mrs. Quarles. “Thank you to DeSoto ISD and Cockrell Hill Elementary for making my Principal For A Day experience magnificent! Your leadership and staff are truly a gift to our students!”

"Principal" Folks shared duty with WINGS High School speaking with Principal Lewis and Counselor Tubbs.
“Principal” Folks shared duty with WINGS High School speaking with Principal Lewis and Counselor Tubbs.

Cultivating Empathy, Sharing Information

The purpose of this program is to help community leaders understand how schools really operate and understand the rigor and rewards of being a school principal.

“By shadowing one of our outstanding campus leaders, we hope our participants will see hands-on the various aspects of leading a school and the many hats worn by a school principal,” said Superintendent David Harris.

“I spent my morning as Principal For A Day at The Meadows Elementary shadowing Principal Shana Hawthorne, and I took a stroll down memory lane!” stated Mayor Pro Tem Rachel Proctor. “This was the school where I met Ms. Beth Hayes Wright who made a huge impact on my life as it pertains to reading and writing and it was the first time I wrote a book that I entered in a writing contest in the 5th grade.”

Patricia Coleman, VP of Marketing for the Bank of DeSoto exclaimed, “Serving my community brings much personal gratitude! But serving our children, that is a blessing! Hats off to Principal Ms. Hannible and her administrative staff, Ms. Dunn and Mr. Smith! It was an awesome, busy-busy day!”

Dr. Harris summed up the day and the purpose for the Principal For A Day program, “We hope to foster a greater understanding of education today, which has changed from when many adults were in school. Public education has higher demands for every student than ever before. We want to provide a glimpse of today’s schools from the principal’s point of view.”

Dr. Monica Williams, UNT Dallas VP for University Advancement, joined DHS Principal Owens-McGowan during the afternoon session.
Dr. Monica Williams, UNT Dallas VP for University Advancement, joined DHS Principal Owens-McGowan during the afternoon session.

2016 DeSoto ISD Principal For A Day Participants

DeSoto High School
Dr. Joe Seabrooks, President, Cedar Valley College
Dr. Monica G. Williams, VP for University Advancement, UNT Dallas

East Middle School
Chief Jerry Duffield, DeSoto Fire Chief

McCowan Middle School
Amine Rizk, Regional VP, AXA Advisors

West Middle School
Lynn Pride Richardson, Chief Public Defender, Dallas County

Amber Terrace Discovery and Design Early Childhood Academy
Messina Madson, Interim Dallas County District Atty.

Cockrell Hill Elementary
Candice Quarles, City Council Member, City of DeSoto

The Meadows Elementary
Rachel Proctor, Mayor Pro Tem, City of DeSoto

Moates Elementary
Stephanie Bowers, Project Mgr. of Operations. Habitat for Humanities

Northside Elementary
Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioners’ Court

Woodridge Elementary
Patricia Coleman, VP Marketing, Bank of DeSoto

Ruby Young Elementary
Dustin Anthamatten, VP Operations, Methodist Charlton Medical Center

DeSoto Alternative Education Program/WINGS
Vernon Folks, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones