New High School Principal Motivates Teachers

He's Dennis Williams. The new Nacogdoches High School Principal delivers a message similar to one he gave last year at the middle school level. Fairness, firmness and friendliness have no age boundaries. "And what does fair, firm and friendly mean?," according to Williams.  "Fair, firm and friendly means you treat everybody like you want to be treated and there's no difference between this and that one," says Williams.

If teachers follow the advice they may see positive results. Like teachers, students ask for consideration. Ninth grader John Arredondo likes teachers, "That respect people. If I respect them, they will respect me."

Williams spoke about educators tendency to raise the bar higher and higher, something new teachers are embracing.   First year teacher Stephen Ray said, "You hold them to high standards and you make sure they work hard. You expect them to do work at a higher level than what they would anticipate and you continue to expect a lot out of them the whole year."

But the big man with the soft voice warns teachers not to dismiss the struggling student. Williams advised, "We can't change those marks, but what would be wrong with you lowering your hand and picking Johnnie up and showing him the way because some of them don't have the opportunity , some of them don't have anyone talking to them at home about this is the direction you need to go."

Williams has turned to maintenance crews to mentor students. He knows everyone on campus plays a part in shaping young lives. There are 215 adults employed on the Nacogdoches High School campus. More than 1800 students are enrolled. Williams says with those odds it's important that every staff member is on the same page.