SOUTH WHITLEY — With less than two months left in the school year, David Parker is finishing his first year as Whitko High School’s principal. Moving into the position from his place as the former assistant principal has allowed for the school to experience a smooth transition.
“I think it was a little easier on everyone because I had already been here and knew the staff,” said Parker. “And the job is one that continues to evolve as we work to better Whitko.”
Parker started the school year with a new assistant principal, Jason Ridge, and a new athletic director, Casey Stouffer. The threesome worked together to tackle three main areas of focus for the high school — becoming a high achieving school, being a positive influence and developing an outstanding school culture.
“These two guys have been great. They’ve been really fantastic,” Parker said. “All of our staff is great. We have teachers that care and want to see students succeed.”
Both administrators and teachers have partnered together this year to see that students strive for excellence. Parker said it is not just about academics, but the student as a whole.
“We want these kids to be at their best in the classroom for sure,” said Parker. “But we also want to see them achieving on the field, in other activities, in their jobs and in the community. We are shaping the entire person. Yes, grades are important. Academics is obviously a key component for us as a school, but we are preparing students for more than just a diploma. “We are preparing them for the real world.”
Pushing students to achieve at a high level means teachers and school leaders may have to spend more one-on-one time with high schoolers in order to keep in touch with them. Following up on academic progress and watching attendance records are two defining areas that can pinpoint a potentially lacking student.
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