August update from Principal Doug Mader


WHAT’S NEW? Principal Doug Mader discusses what he is excited for this school year. The administration will soon roll out new monitors around the school. He also discusses the role of ACE this year. Photo courtesy of Jenna Bao.

Jenna Bao, Associate Editor

Q: What are you excited for this year/new things you would like to point things out?

A: I think that the thing I am most excited about is the current student body and the leaders that have been here for four years. The culture is becoming one of respect and student centered-ness, and you can tell that by the way most students are acting and behaving. So, when a culture shifts like that, just amazing happen to schools, and we bring more exciting things to the students. The students will feel even more respect than they feel now because once adults start trusting students are behaving and doing the right things, it doesn’t feel like a place with a bunch of rules…

  Other things on the future’s horizons is that we are putting up digital signage throughout the building. There will be 20 TVs that are being put up in the next month; power is being run up in places. So, you will be able to see announcements [and] special messages throughout the day without interrupting the school.

   We are putting in place some positive behavioral supports, so there will be drawings and raffles the students will really like. Then we are going to start marketing a ‘school within a school’ called the Synnovation Lab. We will start marketing in about a month. And that is something really unique, that Sycamore will have for next year’s ninth and tenth graders and every year after that.

Q: What is one goal you have for the high school this year?

A: That we just have more student leaders step up and more students get involved in everything we do. I hope it is the most well-attended homecoming and the most fun, as well as Odd Couples and prom, and that students start feeling appreciation for the things that they are doing that make this school a positive place.

  The majority of the students are standing up and not letting a few ruin things for everybody else, lending a helping hand to a student that needs something, or making sure someone is not being harassed or bullied, so that we have a true student body that is a family that takes care of each other. I think if we can accomplish that, Sycamore will even be a greater place.

Q: One of the goals of Aviator bell is to develop those relationships between students and teachers, so could you describe how that is supposed to work?

A: We have taken some restrictions off of ACE bell so that students have some more time to study. But, we have asked ACE bell teachers to pinpoint at least once a week to check in with each student in that ACE bell to start develop that relationship a little closer. And then on Wednesday we will push out some building expectations, and maybe a video or a type of activity that you are doing together in ACE bell.

  But if students aren’t forced to read and if teachers aren’t being this big authoritarian making people be quiet all the time and students are working, [it] gives that teacher time to build that relationship individually with all the students in that room.