Right now, as I type this, I sit in the Communist Factory otherwise known as KIPP. One of the leaders (or so he believes) teaches Government. The level of annoyance he produces daily is unreal. He constantly violates personal space and has a lack of social intelligence. He carries around a miniature composition book scribbling away names and check marks as if anyone really cares. The situation now is that two of the six students in his government class (notice this is a small number because everyone else would have rather taken Sociology than his class any day of the week) turned in a rough draft to a stupid essay. Two weeks passed, and these essays were not given back. Finally, today he has found one of these students essays but couldn’t find the other one, which is so awkward because both of these students turned in their essays at the same time on the same type of paper. And he refuses to take responsibility for losing the essay and instead expects the students to rewrite the entire essay.
It’s teacher like this that intensify students’ hatred for KIPP. Not only do we have to deal with a fake high school but we have to deal with fake teachers. And when I say fake, I don’t mean what you call the girl who ‘stole yo’ man’. I mean fake as in high school and teachers shouldn’t be this way. The way our school is and the way the teachers act is so far from the norm that it doesn’t deserve to be called a high school and these people who reign over the classroom definitely don’t deserve the title of a teacher.
What do and don't you like about your school, KIPP? I am a concerned parent, that would like to put my children in KIPP. Do you feel KIPP gives you the feel of a really high school? Do you wish you could attend another KIPP school? Are there other schools, that you have visited, that you would rather attend?
KIPP is obviously unlike any other highschool. We don’t have an actual highschool building, rather we attend school in “modular buildings” or trailers as most students call them. And even besides that, the highschool experience at KIPP differs vastly than any other school. Some of the teachers are not really qualified. The lunches are pathetic. The students can be unruly at sometimes. And overall the school is just ridiculous with its strict rules.
When it comes to hiring teachers, KIPP seems to value where the teacher graduated from more than whether they actually meet the criteria needed to become a teacher. Thus, the teachers come off as not really caring about the students, rather they care more about getting their loans from undergraduate school paid off so they can continue with their careers.
It’s actually kind of sad because KIPP used to have some of the best teachers who actually knew what they were teaching but slowly these types of teachers became extinct and were replaced with these other generic teachers (if you can even call them that).
In this town that I’m in, my high school options are limited. It’s either KIPP or Central. Enough said.
I just wish everyone in my high school could get the real high school experience. Maybe then, they’ll change their close-mindedness. Maybe.
Q:So, what are your thoughts on the amount of power given to teachers.
A:Honestly, the teachers have no power. Unless you mean how they relentlessly hand out detentions or pester over small issues like uniform, there’s really no power to be had as a teacher.
I think the teachers do usually take these small privileges they are given to an extreme but I think that stems from them not actually having any powers so what better way to feel powerful than to take advantage of the little things they’re given than to over use them. I know in Anatomy, at least 30 detentions are given out each day and the teacher of course thinks ‘Oh, if I give them detention, they’ll see I’m serious and listen to me.’ But actually, it shows a sign of weakness. Rather than send a rowdy child to the office to be reprimanded, the teachers constantly threaten students with detentions.
What teachers fail to understand is nobody really cares. Literally, nobody cares! And the fact that they think we do, is laughable.
In all high schools, I feel like there is a totem pole. At KIPP the totem pole is as follows: Mr. Shirey at the top, then Mr. VanDeWalle, then Mr. Dixon and Ms. Graham, the teachers and finally all of the students. The teachers aren’t given much power, seeing as how they are directly above students in the totem pole. But the way they see it, they may not be at the top, but they’re still above us, so why not show everybody that by yelling at students for not wearing the correct color socks or missing a button on their shirt or for laughing at a joke that the teacher probably laughed at too.
There lies the problem. How do you deal with all of this abuse of power even though there’s really no power? That, my friend, is something you must find out for yourself. But you can find comfort in the fact that you will graduate very soon, so shout to the heavens singing songs of praise! Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!
What are your thoughts on allowing upper-classmen to dismiss early? Even if it was only one day a week, I feel that upper-classmen should have the priveledge to leave campus early! Thanks!
Hey there! :D
We totally agree with you on this end at the very least we believe that the upper-classmen should be able to leave school even if it is just once a week. Why? Well because most of them happen to have study halls last period anyway and only continue to stay at school because they’ve been told leaving would be counted against them.
A ridiculous rule in our opinion but what can you do? The administration says they’ve enforced this rule because grades are low and students should use the time to finish work and get better understanding on things that give them trouble. We retaliate, how can we do this if we have silent study halls and aren’t allowed to leave or ask teachers questions? It makes it impossible.
As a student that waited for their senior year with so much anticipation to not even be able to use my seniority and leave school when appropriate I feel as if I have no privileges at all. So in a nutshell MOST DEFINITELY!
My friend is openly gay and he touches me sometimes at school. Mr. Dixon does not allow him to hug or touch me, however. He is not interested in women, so why is he not allowed to touch me?
From your question we’re going to assume that you’re a female and that is where your problems lies.
Currently at the K.I.P.P. we have a no touching rule in affect, whether you agree with it or not unfortunately it is a rule. So it’s actually not that Mr. Dixon believes that your friend is attempting to touch you inappropriately but rather that he doesn’t want him touching you at all. Whether he’s gay or not has nothing to do with the issue.
If you recall there have many incidents where heterosexual (“straight”) males have touched males perhaps in passing or greeting. Though it was completely innocent they have still been reprimanded by the establishment; and don’t think that it’s only with guys, girls receive the same treatment. Even I have a story of a female friend and I simply walking around with our arms linked. Scolded we were; and told to stop touching immediately.
But then who knows maybe he’s just jealous your friend has female friends and he doesn’t :D
Hello guys. I currently attend this prestigious school and I have always wanted to ask one question. This question is…. Why do the teachers, staff, and some students prey on the innocent bystanders students and incriminate and literally destroy them?
First of all, let me say that I believe the word “prey” is a bit too much for the context that you’re using it in, but beyond that we understand what you’re essentially asking.
Of course we don’t fully know the answer to this question, but we believe that it’s due to the strictness of KIPP’s rules at the moment. Though many teachers have expressed their concerns with having to administer punishment for rules they themselves don’t believe in, what else are they to do?
In a sense, dear anonymous, it’s almost like slavery. Just as slaves were brainwashed to fear their overlords, they believed that they could make no change towards their own betterment. This is exactly what’s happening here. The teachers [slaves], though aware of the ridiculousness of their situation, carry out the administrators [slave masters] wishes because it is their job and there is really no way they can turn down their massah’ without being ‘whipped’.
Thus they incriminate and destroy the students they came to serve. Maybe you should talk to some of them about how you feel. Even if it causes no change, at least you’ll have gotten these things off of your chest.
Why doesn't KIPP allow public displays of affection? Valentine's Day is coming up and I believe that the students should be allowed to show their special someone how much they care whether it be through a simple rose or a huge teddy bear. So why is this the case? After all, 'normal' high schools are able to do this. And I know that this school is supposed to be "extraordinary" so to speak, but it just seems that this school is afraid of love. Is that a reflection of how the school leaders feel?
Dear Kipp Student
This is a question that seems to come up not only every year but every few days as we kippsters make our way from deck to deck and wonder why we aren’t entitled to many of the experiences “normal” high schoolers have.
"KIPP strives to be professional" and perhaps the rules in place attempt to steer the students in the same direction. As for the "normal" high school argument this is one that has been had since the class of 2010 entered their first day of 9th grade. Perhaps it’s because at "normal" high schools the administration doesn’t need to worry so much about what goes on between students. Whereas in our community relationships between our peers can easily spiral out of control.
Living in such a small town can affect these decisions on whether relationships should be public. Everyone will know about it. It’s not like you attend a school of thousands of people where you’re unnoticed. Everybody notices everything and they all talk. In order to prevent this gossip and other drama, KIPP has set the standard that relationships don’t need to be public.
This particular question reminds me of an incident where there were two students walking together and Mr. VanDeWalle stopped them in their tracks and said “There will be no courting at this school.” And perhaps KIPP doesn’t approach this issue in the best way, but you have to think about it. Do you really want everyone to know every moment of your relationship? It’s not really something that’s important when it comes to school.
Again, KIPP strives to be extraordinary, especially in the academic department. Knowing that Billy Bob is dating Sally Sue is not going to help any of us prepare for the AP exams and it certainly won’t help us pass those notorious Calculus exams given by Mr. Whitfield.
Having a relationship is all fine and dandy, but at some point you have to realize you’re just in high school. There will be plenty of time for that later on, but you only have four years in high school. Only four years to make an impression on your dream college, to show them that you have not only the personality but also the academic ability to achieve greatness. A relationship may be great, but I doubt it will help you reach this goal.
I don’t necessarily believe the school leaders feel a certain way about love. It’s just that they feel that students need to prioritize better. After all, an education is much more important than dating Joe this week and Sammy next week. At a young age, even the slightest bit of lust seems like love. As you mature and grow older, you’ll realize what you thought was love actually wasn’t. Maybe KIPP is trying to avoid these mistakes and regrets later on in the future. There won’t be any “I wish I had done this” and “I wish I had done that”. Instead, KIPP is preparing you for college the way they think it should be done: with no distractions. And though it may seem crazy and unusual, these rules are only made to help the students succeed in life and have a better future.
Dear KIPP DELTA, I go to DCPS and we read the recent Obama speech on 01-25-12. I had a question I would like to ask Obama. He said the government will help two-million people get a better education. There are 4.3 million in Tennessee. Why would he only help that many people and make it sound like a big deal? Is it because we are in so much debt or because of another reason? I know you are not him and cannot read minds. I would just like to know what you think. Thank you. - Andrew Brooks Szewczyk
We are so happy to receive your question and we are even happier that it’s pertaining to current events. It lets us know that you are an intelligent young man and want to be involved in what happens in not just your community but others’ as well.
You asked “Why would he only help that many people and make it sound like a big deal?” Well, to start off there, 307,006,550 in the United States according to the latest census. You’re right 2 million isn’t nearly a large enough number when you put it next to 300 million. However at the same time you always have to keep things in perspective. 2 millionpeople will always be better than 0 people.
Even though he is President, he can do nothing without someone sending him a bill that proposes it first. So what does that mean? That means that legislators who are voted in by the public haven’t sent him a bill that can help those 4.3 million people who live in Tennessee with their own education.
The nation’s debt doesn’t have anything to do directly with this particular issue but remember everything affects everything.
Barack Obama broke the color barrier in the American presidency. In 2008, he was elected as the first president with any percentage of African American in him. America seemed to be ready for a change in race when it came to the American presidency, but is America ready for a female president? When Obama ran for president, Hillary Clinton also ran for president but dropped out. Why? Some say she had too much confidence coming in and when the citizens of the United States began to favor Obama more, she freaked out. More recently, Sarah Palin, who, in my opinion, had a fair chance of making it as a possible Republican nominee decided to no longer run for president in 2012 on October 5, 2011. Michele Bachmann is still a possible republican nominee for the 2012 presidential election. However, most believe that Bachmann has no chance. Dumpbachmann.com is one website that points out all of Bachmann’s flaws and is used to persuade Americans not to vote for Bachmann. Does our society view females as being less intelligent than men? Are we not capable of becoming the President of America?
India, Finland, Liberia, Chile, Argentina, the Ukraine, Germany, Ireland, Mozambique and the Phillipines are just a hand full of countries that have had, or have, female democratic leaders. America seems to be out-of-date; we seem to be too stuck in the gender of our president and not what they can give to America. Imagine if Hillary Clinton would have been president. With Bill as her adviser, America would have been even more powerful than it is now, considering that Bill Clinton was one of our nation’s strongest presidents. A lot of times America is stuck on stupid. To the rest of the world, having a female leader is old news. They’ve been there and done that.
Although we may not want to admit it, America still undervalues women and their ability to lead. Take, for example, the hierarchy at KIPP: Delta. Mr. Shirey, Mr. VanDeWalle, and Mr. Culburn are basically in charge of everything. Both the middle school and the high school have male principals. The elementary school has a female leader, but what other male could they have gotten to lead the school? No other male teacher has been with KIPP as long as Ms. Johnson has. The men of KIPP: Delta treat the women as if they are inferior to them—ordering them around and forcing them to do the dirty work. Mostly, the women punish students and form the interpersonal relationships with them, while the men call the shots.
Women also gained their rights later than most groups of people. For instance, African Americans gained their voting rights in the 1800s, while women began to be recognized in the 1920s. Women’s role in society is still not 100% fair.
If America forgets about their indifference towards having a woman as president, a woman can be successful at being President of the United States. We just have to be given the chance. After all, statistics have proven that women are better at discernment than men. Women would more than likely be slow to start wars and weigh out the options. America needs change in leadership and maybe a woman is this change. Americans should put aside their sexist ways and make 2012 the first year that a female is elected for president.
The first semester is winding down to a close as students struggle to pull up tanking grades or maintain their desired GPA. There might only be one week left until winter break but to a student, particularly one that attends the KIPP, it might as well be their last days on the spinning blue planet.
"Get your lives together" Nathan Whitfield calls out to the senior class as they tend to the ghastly grades they are so desperately trying to save. In truth this is exactly what the group is having so much trouble doing, from attempting to create the "senior" envisioned year, applying to colleges, juggling parents that have seemingly developed empty nest syndrome out of nowhere, and maintaing the friendships that it has literally taken them half a decade to make. Surely if the senior class could talk it would cry that it was trying. Perhaps not to the best of its capabilities, but it was indeed trying.
Whether personal or academic how would you say you are “getting your life together”?
The mornings at KIPP are usually run like this: get off of the bus, shake Mr. Dixon’s hand, go to advisory, get breakfast, and dismiss. But not this week. As you all stepped off of the bus, you were met by Ms. McQueen’s smiling face. “Good morning; head to the cafeteria,” she says. Shock filled you as you wondered what could possibly be taking place. You walk up the sidewalk hearing Can’t Give Up Now by Mary Mary play in the background. You felt as though this song were the theme music of your life for the moment as you refuse to give up on finding out what exactly was going on. Finally you reach your destination—the cafeteria. In this place you find Ms. Graham, Ms. Guilliam, and Ms. Matthews checking for correct uniform as students make their way to the breakfast line. In this situation, you have two options: panic because you know for a fact you are wearing incorrect uniform or act calm and collected because in the back of your mind ‘you got this’. If the first choice was your case, your name was written down and you were required to wear uniform on Friday.
Now, phase two. After the ordeal in the cafeteria, provided that you survived, you head to the gym for what seems to be a normal assembly. After all of the grades file in, Mr. Dixon’s voice is heard over the microphone. As you listen attentively to Mr. Dixon, you wonder what is going on.
Finally he let’s you in on what is going on. One reason these morning meetings have been set in place is because uniform has been a constant issue and teachers only have patience and time to deal with a few things without making uniform another. These meetings have also been set into place because the average school GPA is below a 2.0 and something must be done about it. In order to encourage this change, a trip to St. Louis will take place in January. But there’s a catch: 1. you must have either a 2.75 GPA or 2.0 GPA and no Fs, 2. perfect attendance and no tardies, and 3.no uniform infractions for the next two weeks. Are you up for the challenge? We’ll see.
Is the word that was used to explain the off stage performance of the high school faculty this Thursday. With the entire school in the process of changing their class everyone was available to witness the sight. Hunched backs and flailing arms along with a little tush waving was all that these young adults saw. As the Thriller dance came to a close students were bent over in delight, simply seeing their teachers void of their normal strict composure lifted many of their spirits. But as the norm with KIPP when the students arrived at their assigned class it was fun to focus, though maybe it helped that they knew their teachers could have a little of their own.
What will you as a student to positively to show your zest?
Some greetings are as simple as hand shaking. Others involve caressing. Kissing someone on the cheek is the standard greeting for some countries. But here at KIPP: Delta, none of these greetings are allowed. Maybe the army salute or occasional head nod is acceptable, but greeting by touching breaks the “No Touching Rule.”
The “No Touching Rule” came into place after several sexual harassment charges had been reported from each grade. Mr. Dixon and the other rule makers found the proper solution to be the controversial “No Touching Rule.” When a student is seen touching one of their peers, a teacher who sees the contact must suspend the student. According to Mr. Dixon, if no sexual harassment charges are reported for a month, the “No Touching Rule” will be banished from existence. Two questions arise from this rule: How do the students of KIPP: Delta feel about this rule and is it really preparing us for college?
How do the students feel about this rule? One twelfth grader, Chanel Smith, says, “We should not have the “No Touching Rule” because it is taking away too much freedom. Not being able to touch our classmates is silly.” Dontavius Ingram, another twelfth grader say, “We should be able to touch anything that is living.” However, Millie Lofton, a tenth grader says that while this rule is supercilious, it proves to be an advantage to those who want to stay out of harm’s way. “Some people either take it [touching] too far or make people feel uncomfortable, forcing the teachers to come up with a rule that has absolutely nothing to do with learning.” Over all, students of KIPP: Delta have a negative view of the “No Touching Rule”. In fact, the day that the rule was created the school was filled with laughter about how students could not touch one another. “Sir/Ma’am, she’s touching me” resounded over the whole school.
Is the “No Touching Rule” preparing us for college? “No, in college, we will have problems like this all of the time. They’re not going to make the whole college go around without touching. That’s inhumane. If this is supposed to be a collegiate school, how can a rule like this prepare us for college?” states Senior Tarvarius Smith. English twelve and Advance Placement Literature teacher, Mrs. Megan Hurley, slightly amused at the question, says that “In college, there will be a lot of touching. For those who think that sexual harassment is a problem, the rule may help them, but the rule definitely does not prepare one for the college life.” So, no, the “No Touching Rule” is not preparing us for college and is not simulating college life. On the other hand, this rule serves a purpose and can teach a lesson: sexual harassment is serious and intolerable.
Let us count the days until the “No Touching Rule” is lifted. Until it is, think before you touch.
The process of college admissions is one that many look at with dread, especially the seniors of KIPP Delta. With many of our star students being major procrastinators this mandatory process accompanied by a ticking down clock is something that “freaks out” many of these seniors who are used to doing things at the last minute.
However there are a few that have taken this task by the horns and have tamed it. Senior Tavarious Smith has already sent out all of his decided applications and has even already been admitted to his first choice. One can imagine the feeling of both accomplishment and laza fair attitude that he is able to about with now.
It’s something that we’ve all been taught from the time we stepped through the doors of KIPP, doing it right the first time and on time is something that might not always be rewarded but will never leave you high and dry. If only the rest of the senior class could adopt this take charge attitude then perhaps they’d embody more of the capability that they boast of so proudly.
Halloween Fright Night Movie Spectacular or should I say Disaster?
As we all know, prom is upcoming and approaching. If this prom is to be as spectacular as we hope, we have to raise money some kind of way. That’s where the Prom Committee comes in. Together the Prom Committee came up with the brilliant idea to host a Halloween Fright Night Movie Spectacular at the Malco Theater for the entire school.
After hours and hours of hard work from the Seniors members of the Prom Committee (Carlisha Harris, Jessica Amos, Dontavius Ingram, Tyishon Weathersby, Ana Maupin, and Azaria Lovelady), the event was finally ready to begin.
7:00 finally came and the people came pouring in. It seemed to start out just fine with only a few people showing up, buying snacks here and there. But what started out good, slowly turned into an event that was not worthy to be recognized as a true ‘KIPP’ event.
As more people started filing in, the noise level grew louder and louder and the students got rowdier and rowdier. Eventually, the Prom Committee had to come in and make a group announcement that the students were being too loud. The chaperones, Ms. Wark and Mr. Whitfield struggled to maintain peace as the students continued to disrespect them continuing to talk.
What confused me was the fact that they all wanted to talk so much. After all, this is a movie theater and it should be treated as one. No one, especially people who are watching the movie and who have paid good money for the movie, wants to hear talking while a movie is going on.
The way I see it, if these students just wanted to talk, we may as well have just had a get together with all of the students. The fact that these students refused to abide by these rules just proves that whenever we as students try to take one step forward with getting privileges, other students force us into taking two steps back with their blatant disrespect and poor behavior.
KIPP Delta Collegiate is well known for having rigid academic structures that lead to having impressive test scores that often shoot above Arkansas test scores. However, this year, students decided that our school needed to put more emphases fun AND learning. After all, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg intended for KIPPsters to learn the “fun” way, right? One new idea that has been implemented in KIPP: Delta Collegiate is the Leadership Class. It is run by Ms. Graham and involves students representing all grade levels.
Friday, October 28 was the first home basketball game of the 2011-2012 school year. The Leadership Class decided to kick off the basketball game by having the first school wide pep rally.
The revelry began with Ms. Graham reiterating the expectations that are always expected to be upheld at school functions that represent the KIPP motto “Work hard. Be nice.” Later in the rally, Whitney Watson, Galeesa Murph, Summer Farris, and Kadajha Jones bring a powerful step taught by our own, Mr. Whitfield, that causes the crowd to go wild. To go along with the praise from Mr. Whitfield’s step, his advisory also won a poster competition that was for each advisory. Mr. Whitfield’s poster was created by the Class of 2012’s Kendal Honeycutt and Monique Scaife.
Teacher and student of the month was once again awarded to one person in each grade level. Roy Williams presented teacher of the month. Ms. Mansfield and Ms. Wark tied for teacher of the month, but after another scream off, Ms. Mansfield became teacher of the month for the month of October. Dondie Franklin gives the presentation for student of the month by introducing Mrs. Hurley (along with little Paddle), the woman behind the madness. The winners for each grade were: Quentin Murry (Ninth Grade), Andy Lin (Tenth Grade), Raheem Morris (Eleventh Grade), and Sadonta Cole (Twelfth Grade).
“Beat Guy Perkins” were the next words that echoed around the gymnasium. Each class competed to win the spirit stick by screaming these words. Class of 2012 and 2013 both had creative ways of screaming this saying, but the Class of 2013 won Mr. Dixon over with their ability to go from “fun to focus”.
Over all, the pep rally was a success! Great effort was demonstrated by the Senior Girls, although they did not win; they worked persistently and hard. The Senior Boys won their game by eleven points. One player, Sadonta Cole, says that he was “happy about the win but is not going to judge the rest of the season off of that one win.” Guy Perkins is number one is their conference; this game was an amazing accomplish. Hopefully, more pep rallies and wins will come our way.
Graduating high school is an event that everyone anticipates from the moment they learn about walking across that stage with their silky gowns and helmet hair, listening to the screams of their friends and family as they celebrate their transition into a new phase of life—college. Once this moment is close to occurring, however, emotions change. The place that you once hated and wanted so much to leave is now what you call home, and you will, in fact, miss dearly. The idea of adulthood seems so great, but as you come closer to acquiring the responsibilities of adulthood, you sink back into the childish ways.Transitioning into this new life is bittersweet, so Seniors must make the best of their final year by savoring their final days with their friends as well as gaining the maturity required to become responsible adult.
Grabbing senior year by the horns and preparing for anything that may attack me was my goal as I approached Fall of 2011. In my mind, I thought, “I must leave a legacy behind. KIPP: Delta Collegiate MUST remember my name.” This mindset has allowed me to acquire leadership roles in the school that have allowed me to run and plan school events, speak about my accomplishments, and watch my school, KIPP: Delta Collegiate grow.
May 17, 2012, my class, the Class of 2012 is proposing to have the biggest graduation at KIPP: Delta thus far. This is all because of school and class pride. Taking pride in one’s class one is motivational. Loving and nurturing the class that one is a part of links to accomplishing and leading school hour of powers, blood drives, etc. One of the most valuable lessons about being at KIPP is just this: Take pride in your school. Do not let your complaints fill the school. Use your complaints to shape the school.
As my classmates and I work ruthlessly to leave our mark, we wonder who will replace us. Who will accept the challenge of making KIPP: Delta Collegiate not only a better place academically, but a more socially accepting and fun-filled school? I offer you this challenge because as the months begin to dwindle and my class prepares to walk the stage, it will be your turn to mold KIPP: Delta and shape into the fine piece of art that each and every student deserves.
On your mark. Get set. Go! The gun fires and the racers start their journey. Racer number four is in the lead. Now racer number one takes it. This is going to be a close one. Their partners stand at the starting point, fidgeting with anticipation. Their palms sweat as they hold out their hand waiting for the batons. Racer number four dashes to his partner. Freeze. In this situation there are only two ways this can go, either the partner drops the baton and gives up the lead, or he takes the baton in hand and sprints to the finish line, leading he and his teammates to victory. For the past few years Mr. Luke VanDeWalle has held a tight grip on the baton of leadership. This past year however, the time came for him to pass the baton to Todd Dixon. So the question is, will Dixon take the entrusted baton and sprint to the finish, or will he drop it and let another team take the lead and ultimately the victory.
Mr.VanDeWalle introduced Mr.Dixon as principal when the then senior class of twenty-eleven was having their pre graduation dinner. While at the podium, Dixon confirmed and later began his role as principal of KIPP Delta Collegiate. Now as the first quarter of the semester comes to a close, Mr.Dixon and others feel they have been able to see a change in leadership, and there are some who opinions about how he is doing. When asked about how he felt about his own leadership, Dixon responded by saying, “I place value in students having voices in their school and I’ve worked with Ms. Graham and the student leadership committee to see how they feel about things going on with the school. Similarity I’ve worked with teachers to see what their thoughts and feelings are about things going on within the school beyond their classrooms.” Many like it when a leader has others best interests at the forefront of his mind. It often creates a harmonic relationship, and takes away the feeling of being governed. So far, Dixon has allowed students to lead hour of power , which is an all school assemble, give tours to visitors, and few other similar things.
As far as teachers, they all meet Wednesday after school with Dixon, and every now and then have one on one meetings with him. That being the case, Matthew McCranney stated, “I think he has good leadership skills because he seems to always set a standard, and stick by his word.” Mr. Dixons opinion seems to be aligned with his daily practices. It wasn’t enough to only ask one person how they felt though. In order to accurately determine if Mr.Dixon was running a good race, which some may think apparent right now, a new question was introduced. That being, “Do you feel anything has changed now that the leadership has?” Tyler Williams commented, ” He hasn’t done anything bad, or anything good. The high school is the same really. I was looking for more changes.” There are some that feel Mr. Dixons leadership has not changed much at all. In other words, the school is no better off or worse than it was last year. That goes to show that to some Dixons hope to get and keep students involved has not been made clear to everyone. However after the daily classroom visits Dixon makes to each room, it was not hard for Lakebia Taylor to disagree and say “I think he is very easy to be around and tries to make our learning as comfortable as possible.”
Any principal would be to have that said about him or her and the fact that she felt he had her education as a main priority is in direct relation with VanDeWalles comment of Dixon being able to, “…prioritize the most important things in the school so that we move forward.” Since education should be one of the most important things, if not the most important, on the mind of a principal, Mr. VanDeWalle and Miss Taylor are undeniably correct.
Keeping the spirit of recognizing students, Hour of Power transitions into announcing the Students of the Month for each grade level. Silence falls over the audience as they sit on the edge of their seats, waiting with anticipation for the announcement of Student of the Month. Hope twinkles in the students’ eyes as they wait to hear the names called.
Hal Harris is first up. Freshmen hearts race hoping to be the receiver of this title. Finally, after what seemed like an hour long introduction, Harris announces Jalicia Gearing as the Freshmen Student of the Month. The freshmen encourage their teammate to receive her award with wild cheers and applause.
Next it was time for the sophomores to find out which person would be deemed Student of the Month. Again, anticipation and hope appear on their faces. Finally Wark announces Shadijha Jackson as Student of the Month. Following, the Junior and Senior Students of the Month were announced: DeQuan Clayton (Junior) and Lashaundra Montague (Senior).
After the introductions had were done, the next step of any hour of power occurs: shout outs. The newly found Leadership Committee starts the ritual, sending their own personal shout outs to well deserving teammates. Just a few of the names mentioned were Aeisha Trice, Kaitlyn Wark, Dontavius Ingram, and Coach Hammond. Even two year old Benjamin Paddle Hurley was given a shout out after his mother was recognized by Senior Tyishon Weathersby. However, it’s not always the conventional academic issues that earn the gratitude of the students. As the shout outs continue, senior Monique Scaife decides to give one to his fellow teammate, Kendall Honeycutt. After having an earlier altercation with Honeycutt, Scaife acknowledged that it was Honeycutt who stepped up and attempted to resolve the problem between the two. The two of them ended the shout out with a heartfelt hug.
The various grades file in as the usual hush falls over the students due to the expectations that have been set years ago. These same expectations are displayed on the wall underneath the scoreboard. “Track the speaker as their speaking. Keep silent when others are talking. When a teacher or student receives and award, have positive attitude. Whether you want to or not, your negative attitude could be keeping you from getting an award. When chanting have an open mind. Enjoy yourself.”