Students and staff know Mr. Lyons as the cheery, perpetually smiling principal who replaced the previous principal, Dr. Gainey. Since his arrival in March of 2009, numerous changes have been made to Leesville Road High School.
LRHS life has seen many alterations from instruction opportunities and policies to appearance. Some of these revisions include everyday Pride Period, locked-door policy, Freshman Camp and the mascot painting on the gym floor [check who started this]. Most recently, as of the 2010-2011 school year, classrooms were placed in pods by department, rather than scattered around the school as in previous years.
Many other adjustments that affect teachers and administrators have been made, as well. Instead of departments directly supervised by Lyons, each is now overseen by a separate administrator, who then reports to him. They are now more centrally located, too. This ultimately “involves more people in the decision process” and creates a “pecking order,” as described by Dr. Higgins.
A “pecking order” describes the situation very well. In most schools, the principal is the only supervisor, but at Leesville the department authority is branched out.
“I’m torn having to leave my room, but I like having the department all together,” said Señor Ross, AP Spanish teacher. “It’s a good concept, otherwise I would never see the other Spanish teachers.”
The locked-door policy, introduced in the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, is a favorite of among teachers. “It’s a big difference in the ability to start class on time and has become a greater priority for students,” said Mrs. Amerson, English teacher. This “cohesive plan” created by Lyons was easy “to buy into” and greatly supported by teachers.
Also very important to staff and students, alike, is accommodating for the new personality he has brought. It is neither a disadvantage, nor improvement, but simply an adjustment.
Higgins explained that although Gainey loved to tell stories, especially about his old Havelock High School, he was “formal.” Where as Lyons is very “informal,” and calls the administrators and teachers by their first names. Still, both are notably very friendly.
Mrs. Collins, biology teacher, said the transition between Gainey and Lyons was easy because “their philosophy is similar.” She explained that Gainey used to walk around and visit classrooms everyday, which was then continued by Lyons. “It’s something you wouldn’t expect to see in other schools, which is why I like Leesville so much.”
“Mr. Lyons is very animated, open to suggestions and willing to listen to new ideas,” Ross added. He explained that just like Gainey, Lyons is extremely school-spirited, but he has found new ways to aesthetically support school spirit, such as the art banner in the lobby, “without making everything green and blue.”
Collins also noted that Lyons has been progressively updating school technology since his arrival. He added new Smartboards and interactive remotes for class quizzes which provides for more articulated class learning without singling out individual students. Lyons has been working on introducing the new Microsoft software.
Encouraging and supporting the students is Lyon’s greatest aspiration. He would like to bring in more modern technology, such as a video conferencing room for language students to speak with class around the world. This will teach the students to use technology available to them and bring more interest into the classrooms.
“Overall, my goal is to continually look for ways to make education more relevant to LRHS students as we continue into future learning,” said Lyons.
With the new changes for everyone at the school, more are still to come, and Lyons hopes to keep improving Leesville.