New Hilton Head High principal demands student achievement match potential

147874 articles in the archive and more added every day

New Hilton Head High principal demands student achievement match potential

By TIMOTHY WOERNER twoerner@islandpacket.com 843-706-8138
Published Monday, August 20, 2007 in The Island Packet  |  507 Words  |  news/local

As an assistant principal at Hilton Head Island High School, Amanda O'Nan saw the school's potential but not the matching results.
Now, as the school's new principal, she hopes to make sure the results match the potential.
"The challenges for me are that we have all the perfect pieces to make an absolutely wonderful program here," O'Nan said. "But our data doesn't reflect that."
So to set the mood for a new school year, O'Nan is instituting a two-day reorientation program. When students return today, they'll go through their normal schedule, but instruction through Tuesday will be a review of school rules and expectations, from appropriate attire and classroom etiquette to how to find a tutor.
Saturday school has been added to the list of consequences for misbehavior. Faculty will be required to wear identification cards, and students will have incentives to do the same.
O'Nan has dubbed the reorientation "High School 101."
"I don't know that some people thought it needed to be addressed," she said. "But I come from a rigorous, strict background. Students go to school to get their education, and that's the priority. Period."
It's a shift that also puts pressure on staff and faculty to perform.
"My theme is no excuses," she said. "I'd like to see every senior graduate, meet more of our objectives, see our state report card get better. I expect awesome things out of our student body."
The attitude makeover coincides with a number of changes around the school.
Volunteers over the summer helped repaint much of the campus "Seahawk blue." Landscaping and gardening were redone with the help of an extension group from Clemson University. Vending machines were removed from hallways, and the cafeteria stage was renovated.
"We've done a lot of the physical changes," O'Nan said. "If you come to the school, you'll see that it's a different building."
O'Nan hopes her background within the school will help parents, students and teachers understand what she's trying to do.
"I feel like I'm the person who is the visionary and the inspirer," she said. "If I do my role right, everyone else will get the glory."
All of which means you can expect to find O'Nan staying busy.
"It's chaotic and it's crazy," she said. "It's one of the reasons I love this job. So much has to happen at a fast pace. I like that my head's on a chopping block, so to speak. I like the challenge."
Amanda O'Nan
Education:
Bachelor's degree in home economics education from the University of Kentucky.
Master's degree in educational administration from National-Louis
University.
Experience:
Six years as a teacher, serving in these schools: Elk Horn Middle School in Frankfort, Ky.; Burns Middle School in Brandon, Fla.; Battery Creek High School in Beaufort; Hilton Head Island High School.
Three and a half years in school administration, as an assistant principal at Hilton Head Island High School.