In the past few years we have seen far too many directors come and go. The reasons aren’t clear to many and they may never be. But it seems we have a chance that maybe have found our two possible candidates. That maybe we will finally have a director that will spend more than a few months at our school.
Two weeks ago the student council met with the two new candidates for the position of school director. Much like speed dating the candidates rushed between tables and were interviewed by different members of student council. Stephen Razidlo was the first potential director that student council had met with. He was a superintendent in a large and successful Minnesota school district. With many notable accomplishments he does seem like a promising candidate. He wants to interact with students and would try and eat regular lunches with students. He thinks that interacting with high school students is more important as they are developing their own opinions and making up their own decisions. Having someone from the school community especially that high up show an interest in the opinion of High School students is important. Because it means that we students have a chance to get our opinion through. However he states that the opinion of parents is relevant to school affairs. How the school deals with punishments is an extremely important matter. He has worked with restorative justice and wants to give opportunities to students. He wants students to have a chance to make amends with the school. This is something that is extremely important especially at a school like AIS where students are so concerned with GPA, IB, and universities. Rather than just suspend or expel students the school should give them an opportunity to make up for it. With a diverse community like AIS we have to wonder what our next director will do to make this community a more accepting one. In his past experiences he has dealt with diversity that was mainly economic. He tries to find ways to get students to discuss issues that they have. He foresees challenges with diversity in AIS mainly relating to honoring other people’s opinions. He thinks that students should start the process for applying to college as early as the 9th grade. He wants people to talk to students about what they want to do especially parents.
Dr. Peter Greer has had a stellar career in education at several levels and has had many accomplishments. He is very student oriented and likes the advice of students. He tries to go to all events wants to know what goes on in our community. He is very open to students coming to him and says that he will take them seriously. He also worries about tension in the school. When it comes to important matters he would talk to the school community. At his previous school he had student advisors who would tell him about student opinions. At his previous school students were studying until 2:00 am for the entire week so they changed the schedule. He wants students to be happy at school and wants them to study harder. He also wants students to build their character which is something that is important in High School. At his previous schools they brought in speakers to explain the application process to students. In the 10th and 11th grade they had started the process of writing application essays. At his school they had five counselors that focused on college. He thinks that there should be a bit more students going to “elite schools”. He wants to improve our current vision statement to something that is more meaningful to students. He understands the importance of programs like IB and he thinks it is very important for students. A way he seeks to improve the school is by having excellent teachers in every room. He said that when parents pay tuition they should have the best teachers in every room. With technology being a major aspect of our lives he believes that technology is important to help students learn. He believes that students should have more responsibility in school. In his previous school they had a student board that decided punishments for students however these punishments were looked over by faculty. When it comes to cheating every school he has been in has introduced an ethics program so students understand why not to cheat.
Both potential directors have talked about communicating with the students. How vital it is to listen to the community and make students feel comfortable at school. Both want opportunities and responsibilities for students. Hopefully after the past few years we can finally have a successful director.