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Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Grade level principals discuss handling their jobs

Ashley Carini
Smiling on the job! Junior class principal Jeff Shultz takes on the responsibilities for the day.

Each grade level principal has the responsibility of managing their assigned grade level and making sure their students are successfully completing the school year while also taking time for themselves and managing their lives within and outside of the office. 

“I think maturity level is a big thing. Seniors a lot of times have a situation where they’re looking to take that next step into becoming an adult and for the most part have really grown up. Their goals are much different than the younger kids. They have their sights set on graduation and jobs after high school or going on to college or into the workforce. I think that’s the biggest thing and their life is becoming a reality because they’re soon to become adults,” senior class principal Vince Nedimyer said. 

Nedimyer also discussed balancing home life and work life. 

“I just try my best to get done what you need to get done here at school and try to leave it here as much as possible,” Nedimyer said. 

“I think that understanding the process of going through picking a ninth grade class now and staying with that group until they graduate is a tremendously beneficial process for both sides. Us getting to know students, students getting to know us and becoming familiar with the ins and outs of how we all operate is a great system. I love them. I think this is a great class to have. I remember them when they came in a couple years ago as freshmen, and it’s just been a great experience,” junior class principal Jeff Shultz said. 

The process of having the same principal for all the years spent at the high school is something that seems to be beneficial for the students and the principals. It develops a relationship with the leaders of their grade. It also shows how time management plays a role in the job. 

“Basically, you have to have a time budget. Just like you do a budget for your wallet. You have to have a time budget, you have to have certain priorities you want to get done and you make yourself a priority list and things that you don’t want to get done. You afford it further down the priority list. It’s an engaging and always eventful day,” Shultz said. 

Each principal gets to know the grade they are assigned. 

“What distinguishes tenth graders from the other kids in the building are some of the academic pressures that they have going on, Keystone testing, and we have lots and lots of tenth graders taking the biology test, the algebra test and all tenth graders taking the Literature Keystone. It’s a big academic year for kids where they have to buckle down and start to take them seriously because they’ll meet a pathway for them for graduation. So the easiest way to get that checked off and be ready to graduate is to do well on the Keystone tests,” sophomore class principal Keri Harrington said. 

“I think one of the hardest things about the job is knowing some of the struggles that kids are going through. You do your best to help them through it, but you can’t solve everything for kids. So this is the age where you guys start to try to figure things out and you have to do that on your own in order to learn from it. That’s a challenge. Some of the best things on the other end of that are seeing all the successes that kids find  and seeing when kids find where they fit in at the school and I really liked that. So just exceeding being involved with the students and with the teachers. I think it’s the best part,” Harrington said. 

Seeing students succeed and helping them grow mentally and physically is also a responsibility carried by the principals. 

“I think with ninth grade being the first year in the building it makes it challenging for students and for their teachers because they’re still learning the ropes of high school and what the rules are. We’re all one district coming from the junior high to here, so we still have different rules that they’re expected to follow that aren’t necessarily the same as at the junior high, and I think one of the big things this year is that it’s a very, very big class. There’s almost 700 ninth graders, so it’s a very big class this year,” freshman class principal Erik Dambeck said. 

The freshman class is around 700 students this year.

“I try to put away my phone and try not to look at emails when I get home and do things with my wife and daughter. I try to later in the evening get a jumpstart on the next day by getting ready and looking at things for the next day. It’s very similar to what any kid would do when you come home and try to do family things and then you have to have time to get homework done. I have things to get done each night but then need to spend some time on school stuff also, so I’m ready for the next day,” Dambeck said. 



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About the Contributor
Cevin Dively, Reporter
My name is Cevin Dively. I took yearbook class in eighth grade, and found it interesting, so I decided to continue on with it in the high school. I took Intro to pub, and learned a lot more, then got placed in newswriting for my sophomore year. Aside from newswriting, I'm a Lioneer and dance competitively for a new, local studio. I can't wait to begin another amazing year.  

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