By Beth O’Brien, reporting for Bluebonnet News of Montgomery County
Business leaders in East Montgomery County learned how to become a school principal, if just for a day.
The Principal for a Day program, through the East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, shows business leaders and students what it’s like to be the principal for a school in the New Caney and Splendora school districts.
“It’s a great program for the business community to understand what our school districts are doing, primarily New Caney ISD and Splendora ISD, and it connects our business leaders with the administrators, the faculty and the students, that they will one day be, probably hiring from,” said Chamber President Mark Linabury.
Linabury said they usually limit the number of participants to 30.
The day started at the Randall Reed Football Stadium Community Room, where breakfast was prepared by students who are in the Splendora ISD Culinary program.
Participants were then taken to their assigned schools, where they visited and participated in classroom activities, and got a tour of the campus.
Beth Prykryl, a lawyer out of Kingwood, has participated in Principal for a Day for the last three years.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for businesses to come out and see the great things that the district is doing, both as a community member and as a business leader, because this is our future group of employees, of new innovative minds coming into the work force,” Prykryl said.
Keith Pinkston who is a business owner in New Caney and has kids in the school district, said the day was fun and very exciting.
“Kids now are getting a lot better education than when we did when we were growing up,” said Pinkston. “I was reading to second graders that are probably smarter than me this morning.”
The superintendents of both school districts were also part of the program.
Dr. Jeff Burke, Splendora ISD’S superintendent, believes this is a great opportunity for people in the Chamber who are very supportive of our public schools to get a chance to see what we do.
“I think there’s a lot of assumptions out there about public school, and we all have our own idea and paradigm that we see that through because we’ve all been in public school, must of us have, and so I think it’s a good chance for them to see things that have changed and things that we focus on in each of our individual districts,” Burke said.
Kenn Franklin, New Caney ISD superintendent, has not only participated in Principal for a Day in New Caney, but also in four other school districts.
“Anytime that someone can come and see where the action is taking place, where kids are learning, where kids are engaged, I think it’s a good thing for people to have a really good understanding of what we’re doing today in education,” Franklin said. “Everybody has something to compare it to; let’s say everybody has gone to school at some point, so this opens them up to other things that are happening in the school districts besides maybe what they experienced.”
A couple of students participated in Principal for a Day, including Mackenzie Keel.
Keel, a senior at Splendora High School, is involved in the program “Gears,” which stands for Growing Exceptional Adaptable Resourceful Students.
“It’s an internship at the Splendora Administration building, where we intern, we work in different departments, but we work as colleagues, not as students,” Keel said. “The different departments we can work in is teaching and learning, communications, technology, leadership and culture and then we also have a fine arts internship.”
The Principal for a Day program ended with lunch, that was prepared by New Caney ISD students who are in the culinary program.