This past year at North Springs has definitely been one for the books. As a first-year Oracle staff writer, it has been a whirlwind covering the ins-and-outs of our school’s events. Looking at it from the other end, my “behind-the-scenes” view on the Spartan community has redefined many of my thoughts, and I would not take back any part of the experience. To conclude the year, Oracle Editor-in-Chief Zephyr Strosnider and I interviewed Mr. Hanson on his opinions and ideas moving forward as principal. Read his responses below!
What new policies did you implement this year and how successful were they?
Hanson began by discussing how he and the administration did not essentially implement anything new. “Based on county policy, we were told to remove the vending machines. District policy changed, and so we didn’t have to follow through with that, we just had to put timers in place at certain times.”
As a first year principal, what observations have you seen that will could influence policies made next year?
“As a first year principal, you do a lot of listening, a lot of watching and observing. When you get a better idea of what [the deal] is, you start making incremental changes the following year versus just jumping in and changing everything.” On the student level, Hanson said he will look to fix issues with dress code for next year and also to strengthen North Springs’ Honor Code. “We’ve been asking teachers to engage in a review of the current honor code so that we can implement that next year,” he said.
Most interestingly, Hanson stated that as a teaching community, they’re rethinking summer reading and AP summer assignments. “You have all these summer assignments, right? My last two years of being an AP European History teacher, I didn’t have summer assignments and my pass rates were the same as before when I did have those summer assignments. So what’s the purpose behind them? We’ve got teachers providing input on that which will help with what we’re going with next year.”
Another development for the years to come includes the Ninth Grade Academy, a revolutionary take on getting freshmen started at North Springs. “A lot of academic and disciplinary things start in the ninth grade, and right now it’s all over the place. But imagine when we create a situation where we’ve got a nice, tight-knit community of ninth grade teachers and students that have a sense of community where everyone is working towards a common goal of being ready to graduate.” “If you don’t have the kids in the right classes and doing the right things in ninth grade, you’re already setting them up for failure.”
Moving forward, what would you want your legacy to be as a principal for North Springs?
“What are the things that you do that have a positive impact on your surroundings? It’s not about whether you’re remembered or not, it’s about what you do and what you stand for that gets the school moving in the right direction” … “As we build traditions, they benefit the kids, and at the end of the day, that’s what we should all be about.”
What would be your final statement on the 2016-2017 school year?
“I wish I would’ve gotten to know the seniors a little bit earlier! You know, the transition you guys have had is with three principals in four years. And that’s never good. You had a principal who was very spirited, but let other things fall apart and not have a focus. You had an interim principal who was trying to do the right thing but had his hands tied by the very nature of an interim. And then me. And I’ve been tasked with ‘These are the things that I have to address’, so I went to the other side and things like that. There are a lot of good things going on at this school, and once we get all of those things aligned, this becomes a great school that will always be a great school. As we close out the year, a lot of good things have happened athletically and academically.”
As we close on this year at North Springs, we are excited to see how these advancements unfold and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Hanson and the Spartan community!