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Herriman Journal

Assistant principals granted reign over just one kingdom: No more splitting time between multiple schools

Oct 01, 2022 06:37PM ● By Jet Burnham

Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Jay Eads inherited the role of royalty when he became the new principal at Butterfield Canyon Elementary this year. Administrators have traditionally played the role of queen or king in the knighting ceremony for third grade students joining the “Knights of the Multiplication Tables.”

At the knighting ceremony, each student who has passed off their multiplication and division facts that month kneels before the administrator, who is dressed in a red robe and a gold crown. Students are knighted with a foam sword and receive a certificate and trophy as their parents and peers cheer.

Third grade teacher RaNisha Glover said the Knighting Ceremony has been a tradition at Butterfield Canyon Elementary for eight years and is something students look forward to.

“This has been a huge motivational tool for us and our students,” Glover said. “They are excited to work hard so their family can come to support them and see them get knighted. Students get excited, parents get excited, and teachers get excited. When you are excited, naturally you are more likely to think about it more often, and as a result, work harder to make it happen.”

Eads is thrilled to wear the royal costume and to “ham it up” to make a big show of recognizing students’ efforts. However, if he is busy, assistant principal Hallie Myler is willing to fill in as queen at the ceremony.

“Anything that makes the kids excited to do something or learn something, I'll do it,” Myler said.

Eads has the luxury of knowing Myler can fill in if he’s busy because this year, Jordan District has assigned one assistant principal to each school, instead of sharing them among two or three schools, which has been the norm.

Before he became principal, Eads was an assistant principal splitting his time between Westland Elementary and Mountain Point Elementary, which was problematic. If one of the principals was called away, Eads had to drive 30 minutes from one school to the other to fill in as the administrator in the building, even if he was in the middle of something at the other school. If there was an issue with a student, he sometimes had to wait two days to resolve it because he was scheduled to be at the other school.

Myler said it is difficult for an assistant principal to support teachers and to get to know students when they aren’t in the building every day.

Jordan School District Director of Communications Sandy Riesgraf said having a full-time assistant principal improves the school experience for everyone.

“The change was made to provide additional support for teachers in the classroom, for front office staff and to give principals more time to spend on instruction,” she said.

Eads and Myler are excited for the change and believe they will be able to provide consistent leadership, relationships, discipline, restorative practices and academic focus at Butterfield Canyon.

They believe building relationships with students, staff members and parents is an essential part of being an administrator and will be easier when they are dedicated to just one school.

“You have to have relationships with kids in order to be able to make progress,” Eads said. He said it is the same with parents and teachers—you must have a relationship before you can ask them to do something difficult.

Eads said, because neither of them have any obligations at another school, he and Myler can share responsibilities, build off each other’s strengths, and have a reliable back-up team member to handle issues when one of them is busy.

He said this environment will provide an overall better training experience for his assistant principal.

“I can give her more things to do full time within the school and actually build a leadership team together versus having somebody part time,” Eads said.

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