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  • Marching bands
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Fort Wayne Community Schools conducted its Principal for the Day event Wednesday. Here’s a list of guests who participated:
Abbett – Todd Stephenson, CEO, United Way of Allen County
Adams – Tom Harris, director of human resources, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Arlington – Don Wood, founder and CEO, 80/20 Inc.
Bloomingdale – State Sen. Carlin Yoder
Brentwood – Johnathon Fillenworth, manager, Lowe’s
Bunche – Samm Johnson, extension educator, Purdue Extension, Allen County
Croninger – Mark Ryan, creative services manager, WFWA-TV
Forest Park – Robin Ness, Raytheon
Franke Park – Grady Roush, captain, Fort Wayne Fire Department, Station 11
Glenwood Park – John Peirce, vice president, FWCS school board
Haley – Tom Cress, sales specialist, Fort Wayne Acura
Harris – Douglas Bishop, president, Wyndemere Neighborhood Association
Harrison Hill – Beth Ann Gibson, capital projects coordinator, FWCS
Holland – Michaelle Stirratt, president, Holland PTA
Indian Village – Jim Burg, interim dean of the College of Education and Public Policy, IPFW
Irwin – Mike Nutter, president and general manager, Fort Wayne TinCaps
Lincoln – Pastor Karen Koelsch, Covenant United Methodist Church
Lindley – Fernando Zapari, editor, El Mexicano Newspaper
Maplewood – Katy Silliman, director, Vision 2020
Nebraska – Lisa Olinger, board member, FWCS school board
Northcrest – Larissa Brown, executive assistant, Vera Bradley
Price – Rosie O’Grady, co-chair, Northwest Area Partnership
Scott – Rae Gonterman, senior vice president, Parkview Health Cancer Services Line
Shambaugh – Carl Drummond, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, IPFW
South Wayne – Geoff Paddock, executive director, Headwaters Park
St. Joseph Central – Scott Pfeiffer, 3 Rivers Federal Credit Union
Study – Ngozi Rogers, creative services director, Indiana’s NewsCenter
Towles – Richie Cummins, Miami District executive, Boy Scouts of America
Washington – Jim Whitaker, Lion’s Den Ministry
Washington Center – Gordon Murphy, owner, Fort Wayne Door Inc.
Waynedale – Sharon Eisbart, owner, Sharon Eisbart Corporate Art
Weisser Park – Dan Ross, director of community development, Arts United
Whitney Young – Jordan Lebamoff, board member, FWCS school board
Middle schools
Blackhawk – Dr. Tom Blake, dentist
Jefferson – Whitney Caudill, associate dean for administration and finance, Manchester University School of Pharmacy
Kekionga – Eric Black, retired, Fort Wayne Police Department
Lakeside – Chip Clark, Youth for Christ
Lane – Edward Dahm, Mike’s Carwash
Memorial Park – Connie Collins, assistant professor of education, University of Saint Francis
Miami – Quinton Dixie, Ethnic & Cultural Studies program director, IPFW
Northwood – Lamar Holliday, reporter, WANE-TV
Portage – Jennifer Callison, vice president/Realtor, Mike Thomas Associates/F.C. Tucker
Shawnee – Becky Hill, board member, FWCS school board
High schools
Anthis Career Center – Mark Kaszowski, facility area manager, General Motors
New Tech Academy – Mike Conley, local musician
North Side – Susan Trent, attorney, Rothberg Logan & Warsco
Snider – Heather Schilling, chair, Department of Education, Manchester University
South Side – Patrick Dooley, vice president of airport development, Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance
Ward – Mike McAlexander, chief deputy, Allen County Prosecutor’s Office
Wayne – Joe Jordan, executive director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne
Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Vera Bradley’s Larissa Brown reads to kindergartners as Northcrest Principal Dawn Starks looks on.

Principal for day not so elementary

– Larissa Brown, an executive assistant for Vera Bradley, was surprised at how much Northcrest Elementary Principal Dawn Starks interacts with students during her workday.

“I don’t remember seeing the principal in classrooms when I was in school,” she said.

Brown was one of 50 guests who participated in Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Principal for a Day event Wednesday, learning what a typical day is like for a school principal.

“People often don’t realize how much schools have changed since they graduated. In particular, most haven’t had the opportunity to see what a modern-day principal does all day,” FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson said. “Now, principals are in classrooms daily serving as an instructional leader and as a person students know as more than just the enforcer of rules. We are proud to show off the success our schools have had by welcoming guests from the community.”

Brown followed Starks through classrooms as she conducted snapshots, or short evaluations on teacher and student engagement using an electronic form on her iPad. Starks introduced Brown as the principal for the day to students and teachers in the classrooms.

One student said it wasn’t fair for Starks not to get the day off, since she had a replacement.

Brown said it was eye-opening to see the diversity at Northcrest, a school with a student population of 35 percent English-language learners. She said she was also surprised to see students as young as second grade using technology in the classroom.

“That’s definitely changed since I was in school,” she said.

Mark Kaszowski, facility area manager at General Motors, was principal for the day at Anthis Career Center. He said he saw some major differences in technical education from when he attended school, with curriculum focused not only on technical skills but also professionalism to allow students to become working adults after graduation.

“It’s a great insight to our future,” he said of the experience. “I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen today.”

Kaszowski, and other guest principals, also had the opportunity to lead a fire drill, as Wednesday was WOWO’s 66th annual citywide fire drill as part of National Fire Prevention Week.

They were also invited to a lunch reception, with food prepared by Anthis culinary students.