The New Principal in Town


Stephanie Rudd

Teacher-Coach-Bus Driver- Principal-Mr.Will

Stephanie Rudd, Contributor

Mr. Will climbed the wall during the National Guard presentation in P.E. class Wednesday, August 25.

Since Mr. Will is now the new principal of PHS, I wanted to get his thoughts and opinions, as well as hear what his coworkers had to say about him. 

When Mr.Will first started in Palestine, he was just a regular old math teacher, interested in teaching kids and always bright and upbeat. Even then, he never failed to support students and always made sure everyone understood and got what they needed.

When I asked some of the other teachers for a few words about Mr.Will, Mr. Smith, the PHS Biology teacher, said, “Mr.Will started teaching at PHS in the 2014-2015 school year. He was a very dedicated teacher from the beginning and made great connections with all of the students in the building. I also have been able to work alongside him as co-sponsor of the Student Senate. I know he will make an excellent leader at our school. Aside from being a Cubs fan, he is also a great person.”

Ms. Cutright, the PHS History teacher, said, “Mr.Will and I started at PHS the same year and it has been great to work with him as colleagues with our classrooms across the hall from each other. I am looking forward to working with him in his new role as principal and see what great things he will do for the students here at PHS.”

In fact, everyone I spoke with had only more positive things to say, all of them mentioning how he always has been a big part of this school and students’ lives. 

When asked if he had ever imagined becoming principal when he starting working here, Mr. Will replied, “I thought I was going to be a nerdy math teacher. Honestly I didn’t think I’d be here forever.” (Honestly, he still is a bit nerdy even as the principal.)  He continued,”I’m more anxious than nervous when it comes to this, because before when I was just a math teacher I had half of the students just in that class, but being principal now I have all the kids under me.”

Mr. Will was quick to point out that Ms. Waldrop was a great mentor who really helped him out, focusing on how important positive culture is the key to successful schools. She taught him how to support students in a variety of ways, including always valuing giving students a second or a third chance.

Mr. Will’s leadership style is his own, however. “I have more of a coaching leadership style, I believe.  Coaches give direction, they give support, they celebrate every victory big or small,  and they celebrate every mistake, big or small.” I asked if he had seen that somewhere or if he came up with that on the spot, and surprisingly, he said that he came up with it.

When asked about his plans for the school in the future years, Mr. Will said, “I plan for the school to be here for a while, to see many more students and people come through here and graduate as Pioneers, and to see the students again in the future and to hear their success plans.”

It was nice to be able to interview Mr.Will and hear about his transition from teacher to principal. Outside of school, Mr. Will likes to work out, be around family, and go to sporting events. It was nice to see the impact that he is leaving on the people around him and to hear what he hopes the future holds for him, the students at PHS, the community around him and the people who are supporting him along the way. Even though there might be some bumps along the way, I think Mr.Will will do amazing things for this school.