Continuing the Vision

Teachers and students voice their expectations of the new principal

Continuing the Vision

Chisholm Trail High School will welcome its second principal, Dana Barnes, on June 16.

Barnes has held several positions in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District including curriculum coordinator, assistant principal, and principal.

Teachers and students around campus have expressed varying opinions and expectations for the new principal.

Junior Daisha Babineaux feels that developing relationships with students is important for the new principal.

“I don’t want her to be like Dr. Schwei, but I want her to be nice like he was,” Babineaux said. “At the same time I hope she’s not a pushover.”

Freshman Louis Mesta does not have any worries with the change in principals.

“I’ve only heard good things about her,” he said.

While CTHS students are less likely to have had experiences with Barnes, several teachers have met her previously through a summer leadership class she taught with EM-S ISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Lowell Strike.

AVID teacher Jennifer Reker attended the summer leadership class and looks forward to working with Barnes again because of Barnes’ high expectations and straightforwardness.

“She’ll tell you ‘this is what I need, this is what I want from you,’” Reker said.

When Barnes was a curriculum coordinator Reker was also able to work with her. Reker believes that the connections Barnes’ has with her teachers will make her a good principal.

“She understands the struggles with teaching, discipline, all that stuff,” Reker said.

When it came to the actual interviewing process though, some of the people on the selection committee had never met Barnes before.

John Canfield, band director, was a member of the committee. He said his first impression of Barnes was that she was “well-educated.”

Canfield also believes Barnes will continue the “vision” that the teachers and staff had when CTHS started.

“Part of that vision was making a high school that was different than the other 4-year high schools around,” Canfield said.

The selection committee specifically searched for a candidate who could uniquely continue the close relationships with students that the principal, Dr. Mike Schwei, had made precedent.

Canfield does not think students will have a hard time adjusting to their new principal.

“I would imagine that because the students at Chisholm Trail are very open and welcoming students, I think that they will, although they’re hesitant with change and reluctant to let go of Dr. Schwei, they will give whoever takes over Dr. Schwei’s office a fair chance,” Canfield said. “They’ll allow her to be the best principal she can be.”