by Cate Tauriello
A new school year means new objectives for teachers, counselors, and the administration of WHS. The administration is looking for dedication and hard work this year from all WHS students.
“Academically, one goal I would like to see our staff and students achieve is a decreased number of students on the ineligibility list and an increased number of students over 2.0 accumulative GPA. Right now we have way too many students that are settling for the middle row status quo,” says principal Tracey Franklin,
“Another goal for us as a school is to instill a sense of academic pride to not accept mediocrity and being good enough to get by but to accelerate the level of academic performance where a student is not in jeopardy of forfeiting other things like extracurriculars and other participation in activities. If a student is able to participate in those things, academically the student will improve.”
When asked about her favorite thing about freshmen, Franklin says “[Freshman girls] have this renewed sense of starting over and taking academics seriously because it’s a new beginning and it kind of leaves middle school behind. They have a sense of energy to start off on the right foot.” Franklin also said she “loves getting to know new personalities” of the whole freshman class.
Assistant principal Sheri Murphy says “My favorite thing about freshmen is that they’re new to high school and that there are good people who can mold and encourage them to become the new Walkersville. Also, helping them to discover who they are inside these walls and what Walkersville means to them.”
Pay attention, seniors! Franklin says “[seniors] are really going to love the new changes to the senior cafeteria and the gym, the media center. I’m really excited for the students to embrace the new logos and the new Lions and the new spirit and kind of move that into graduation. We’ve relocated prom to a new location…” Franklin is referring to the refurbished barn where prom will take place in Spring 2015.
Danny Rumpf, assistant principal says “The big plans for seniors would be, of course, graduating, but after graduation it’s understanding that [the seniors] all have one theme– that they are graduates of Walkersville High School. As they go out to different parts of the country and the world, they will blaze a new path. [The seniors] should remember everything their teachers have taught them here and their parents wanted them to learn throughout their high school careers.”
“I’m excited to expand the senior picnic to be bigger and better than it was last year. We do have some new ideas for the Senior Awards program… it’ll really celebrate graduation a little bit more than it has in the past. I think this year seniors are going to see a lot more change and fusion of pride.” Franklin also says, “It took us my whole first year just to wrap our heads around what needed to be improved and now we’re in that mode of making things happen.”
Franklin also has some expectations of the seniors this year, she says she wants to “increase school spirit and culture to a higher level. I think last year’s senior class did a great job, I’d like to see this year’s senior class do it even better.”
Assistant principal Jason Lininger says “I expect the senior class to really step up and be the leaders of the school. [They] have worked [their] way to that position where[they] have a ton of influence on the underclassmen and [they] will follow the trends that [they] set. I would love to see the senior class step up and not only be academic leaders, but spirit leaders, involvement leaders, and show these younger kids how to do it and do it right… Overall, I just want them to be successful.”
Franklin is also testing the seniors this year, “I challenge the senior class not just make it about them, but to create a legacy of moving that culture and spirit forward that goes year after year. The senior class is to not make everything about seniors and we’ve had a huge discussion about tailgating shirts and at some point I would like to see the seniors branch outside of themselves and see more than just ‘the class of 2015’ and see what we can do that brings the spirit to the whole school, including juniors, sophomores, and freshman and start embracing what it means to be a Lion, not just what it means to be a senior.”
If you ever wanted to know something unique about Franklin, she says she is “double-jointed and I have really funky arms that I don’t show very often. If the senior class is good then maybe I’ll let them see [my arms]. The other thing is that I’m a beach girl. I absolutely love the ocean, I own a place on the shore and I paddle surf.” This summer, Franklin also said she “caught a six foot brown dusky shark and brought it on board the boat… I’m not afraid to reel in a six-foot shark.”
It is clear that the administration of WHS is ready to begin another year with bigger and better things for all students!