We all wish we could go back to ‘normal.’ So many things have changed since we left school for spring break in March 2020. While we’re returning, there’s the push of a mask against every breath and an odd sense of being alone in a classroom of people. However, there are many positive developments at Glenn, one of which is the introduction of our new principal, Dr. Shawn Miller.
Dr. Miller has a determination to make Glenn the best it can be. He’s working hard to figure out the best ways to improve the school experience for those involved during these always changing times. Flexibility is something that we have all had to learn, and Dr. Miller is someone who has mastered the skill. The students and staff at Glenn should be extra appreciative to have a principal who is so driven to help our school get back to ‘normal.’
“I loved the school I was at before, so I always said it would take a pretty awesome place to leave [Wiley ISD],” principal Dr. Shawn Miller said. “After the first interview, I really felt like this was the place.”
Dr. Miller’s from central Texas and has been looking to come back to the area. He worked in a district just north of Dallas for 12 years before touring the school virtually and deciding to apply.
“Every time I would come home, I would drive around the neighborhoods, and scope out the schools,” Dr. Miller said. “One day, I landed over here [at Glenn]. There was just something about the campus. Once I took [the virtual] tour, I was so impressed with the building that I thought, ‘Gosh, great things must be happening there.’”
He commented on his first couple of weeks, and how he wishes he could be out in the classrooms and building more. Coming to Glenn has been a big adjustment to learn all of the different procedures and other such things. One of the changes he likes better is the dress code since his last campus’ was very strict.
“[The dress code] is really good because we get to focus on connecting, and building relationships with kids,” Dr. Miller said. “It allows us to focus more on the other things than dress code, and who’s not in dress code.”
On the subject of rules and changes, he noted how Mr. Lomeli and the staff have done some great things. He also wants to work toward getting better as a group.
“My focus, initially, is to continue some of the things that have already been put in place,” Dr. Miller said. “[Then,] like any school, there are always things you can improve upon, so I want to talk to the key players, students, teachers and parents, to see what we can make a bit better. There’s more greatness for us to discover, and I think we need to work together to be able to do that.”
One of the specific things he wants to begin doing regularly is getting more feedback to teachers from multiple different people to help them form their instruction and improve their classes. He’s also planning to continue the traditions our school has already begun, as well as figuring out some additional traditions to start with the students.
“I think there are some really cool things that we could do along the lines of recognizing students more,” Dr. Miller said. “Also, doing some things that are more inclusive of all students.”
He wanted to shout out some of the staff who have made the transition much easier. Ms. Owen and the associate principals have been helpful in getting him settled into the procedures and such. His administrative assistant, Mrs. Felps, is another.
“Mrs. Felps has been amazing,” Dr. Miller said. “Even before I came, she contacted my secretary at my old school to learn some things about me, and made herself available to us to make me feel good about coming here.”
As students have been phasing in, he has been eager for the population of in-person students to rise, while still continuing to be safe.
“One thing I’m probably the most excited about is seeing more of our students come back to campus, and trying to create high school experiences that are as close to normal as possible,” Dr. Miller said. “[Also,] having kids feel safe and secure whether they be remote or on campus. I’m looking forward to a time when we’re all back together, and we’re able to look at this, and say, ‘We worked hard, but we made it, and that is behind us.’”
In closing, we all know the 2020-2021 school year has been tough, and things could change again at any moment. However, Dr. Miller doesn’t want us to forget the improvements and successes we’ve already seen in our school.
“What I’d like [the students] to remember most is all that they accomplished,” Dr. Miller said. “How no matter what was placed in front of them, they were able to overcome, find success, and achieve greatness against unbelievable odds and circumstances. They persevered. They didn’t let all that was going on in the world, in this area, and even in their homes [take over]. I would hope they remember how hard they’ve worked, and how well they did, despite everything that has been happening.”