New high school principal Tina Drake is preparing for her first year outside the classroom.
Drake has been a a teacher for 21 years, 13 teaching math at Wellington High School. She is a Wellington native and is excited to take this leadership role especially since it’s at WHS.
“I didn’t want to do it anywhere else,” she said. “I’ve never had any desire in leaving Wellington High School so being able to transition into being a principal here is really exciting.”
She plans to focus on the future and not dwell on the district’s past mistakes.
“I’m excited to get us back on track and moving in the right direction,” Drake said. “Our focus is to just keep moving forward and staying positive and getting back on the right track.”
Drake also plans to focus on discipline and the overall atmosphere of the school.
“That’s a priority for me — to get that back on track so that we can focus more on academics and less on the discipline aspect of it so we’ll have more time for teaching and less time worrying about discipline,” she said.
A few other aspects of the high school are changing.
Five or six teachers who used to teach at other schools in the district are joining the WHS team. When the district cut 27 teachers at the end of last year the remaining teachers were spread out to accommodate the vacancies.
Two new special education teachers will also join the staff this fall.
Eighth-graders will walk the halls as high-schoolers for the first time this year as well. Four core teachers will teach mostly eighth grade classes and one high school class and all three schools in the district will share music, physical education, and art teachers.
Last year, students went to their DEN period or youth enrichment network first thing in the morning but that’s now been moved to later in the morning to be more effective and to make sure students are getting to school on time.
Detentions are now after school instead of before.
In the future, Drake hopes to bring back advanced placement classes and she would like to try having programs such as Model United Nations.
“I have a lot of ideas of what I want to try to do maybe next school year but this year it’s just a matter of regrouping and moving forward,” she said.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Wellington High School principal Tina Drake poses in the school’s hallway.