FORT WAYNE – 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.