By Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach
Ella Sussner spent a recent school day in the company of the one person many of her middle school peers try hard to avoid; the principal.
Not that Warwick Valley Middle School Principal Georgianna Diopoulos isn’t fun to be around. Turns out she is, said Ella. In fact, the seventh-grader said she’d happily spend another school day with Mrs. D.
“I aspire to be a leader,” said Ella, explaining why she asked to shadow Mrs. Diopoulos as part of a Home and Careers class assignment to learn about a career or profession. “I met Mrs. D at the Middle School Open House back at the beginning of the year, and she was really nice to me and my family, so I decided to ask her. She leads the whole school.”
The day, said Mrs. Diopoulos, was a rather typical one, busy and filled with everything from meetings to phone calls to classroom observations.
“She does a lot of planning and makes so many decisions,” Ella said. “She spends a lot of time walking around the school, and the kids really like and respect Mrs. D. She’s forgiving, and she teaches us that we shouldn’t judge a person just by the mistakes they make.”
All Warwick Valley Middle School students take the class Home and Career Skills, and the curriculum includes activities to promote interpersonal skills, decision making, and problem solving. The job shadowing assignment helps students explore an interest or talent and prompts them to think about their future and career aspirations.
Ella’s favorite subjects are math and science, and she intends to pursue a career in one of those fields.
“My plan isn’t to be a principal, but I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone. As her shadow I learned a lot from Mrs. D.” Ella said. “She’s a great leader, so even though I don’t want to be a principal I do want to be like her.”
Each week, Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines the “The Superintendent’s Spotlight” on one of Warwick Valley’s amazing students. “Superintendent’s Spotlight” features students who reach goals, face challenges, and are role models to their peers.