• No School - Spring Break - Mar.14 - Mar.18
  • No School - Spring Vacation Day - April 15
  • HS Theatre Spring Show - April 8-9
  • End of 3rd Quarter - Mar. 31
  • HS One Act Plays- April 13 at 7pm
  • No School - Prof. Development Day - April 25
The student voice of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Leaf

The student voice of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Leaf

The student voice of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Leaf

New Year, New Leadership

Q&A with SHS’s New Assistant Principals

   Lanyards and school IDs. A three-lunch system. A new cell phone policy. The end of school construction. And not one, but two new school assistant principals. The start of our 2023-2024 school year has arrived in full force, and with that has come new changes to our SHS administration team. We met with the two new faces on our SHS administration team, Mr. Andrew Ovington and Dr. Princess Crenshaw, and learned how they have been adjusting to their first few weeks at SHS. 


Meet Mr. Andrew Ovington: 

Mr. Ovington chose an education path to meet new people and to positively impact students’ lives. After a brief stint as a Psychology and AP U.S. History teacher at Hamilton High School, Ovington taught history at SHS for nine years. For the 2022-2023 school year, he worked as an assistant principal at Liberty Junior, which is in the Lakota East school district. Now, Ovington has returned to SHS to be the new 10th grade principal.

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How’s the transition been coming back to Sycamore?

It’s good you know. Obviously, I was here as a teacher and being an administrator is a little bit different, but the students and staff [at SHS] are great. It’s nice because I already know a lot of the juniors and seniors [from teaching at Sycamore] so I have kind of a lot of those positive relationships already built in, and then also with staff as well. They’ve been very welcoming to me coming back. They’ve been supportive in a lot of different ways, so it’s really been really good.


What’s something special about the culture at SHS?

I think the best thing about this culture is that everyone wants to achieve to the highest. Students want to achieve, parents want to achieve, staff want to achieve. Everybody kind of has that mentality of wanting to be elite [in academics], which I think is a really good mentality to have. Everyone’s kind of in it together I think and I believe in that.


What are some of the strategies you use to ensure that all students regardless of their backgrounds, feel valued and respected at Sycamore?

I think the biggest thing you can do with that is treat every student with respect. Anytime I talk with a student, I hope that they walk away feeling like they’re personally respected by me. And I feel like a lot of times if you give off that respect, you get that in return. And for me, it doesn’t matter who you are. I want to make sure you have that. That vibe when you talk to me that you’re being treated with respect.


What are some of your goals for the school year?

Just to positively impact culture here. One of my biggest things was just to continue to build relationships with students and staff in the school and just build the school into being the best school in the state.


What were you like in high school? 

I was kind of middle of the pack: I took some AP classes, I took some regular classes. I was involved in sports. I was involved in clubs. I was just kind of involved in a lot of different things. But kind of like a friend to all and so that’s kind of what was I remember. It’s a really long [time ago]. A really long way back.


Real Talk: Do you have a favorite cereal?

If you go to my house, I have about 10 boxes of cereal. I’m not even kidding. My friends like to make fun of me for it because I literally have 10 boxes here. So favorite cereal? That’s a tough one. I’d probably go with Lucky Charms.


If you’re stranded on a desert island, what were three things you could bring?

Food. My family. And a basketball.



Meet Dr. Princess Crenshaw 

With educators being instrumental in her own upbringing, Dr. Crenshaw made it her mission to become an educator herself. She’s taught eighth-grade reading at Mount Healthy Junior Senior High School before teaching at Lakota East High School for a year. She returned to her alma mater Winton Woods High School to be an assistant principal for eight years. Now, we welcome her to SHS , as the 11th-grade principal.

How’s your transition been coming to SHS?

It’s been great. Even though my official start date was July 24, I spent a lot of time here in June and July, so even those first days after the last day of school professional development, I had an opportunity to come in and meet with teachers. Everybody has been super welcoming and super supportive. I think that is a lot different from Winton Woods and what I’m used to, but that’s what I prayed for. I wanted a different experience. I wanted a different challenge. So I’m appreciative and don’t regret a single thing.


What is something special about the culture here at SHS?

I think something that’s special about the culture is the student spirit. And the fact that it is cultivated and thrives on its own. Absolutely love that. The Ave Cave in the spirit section tickles my soul. So I thoroughly enjoy those moments of interacting with students in those environments. I think it’s something really special.


What strategies do you use to ensure that all students regardless of their backgrounds feel valued and respected?

I think relationships, relationships, relationships. Taking the time to connect with students and get to know them, getting to know you as an individual before I even get to know you as a student and just modeling that. I want somebody to get to know me as a person because getting to know me as a person is the foundation for who I am as a principal. And that’s something that I really appreciate. And I do feel like I can show up as my authentic self here. It doesn’t have to be that Princesses is one person and Dr. Crenshaw is another. I get to be both here and show up in that way. That’s something that’s really important for me because I think that my students have to see that you have to choose something that you’re really excited about, something that you’re going to get up every morning for, and that you get to show up in your authentic self.


What are your goals for the school year ?

My goal for this school year is to get to know as many students as possible. I’m working with a specific grade level, which is something that I am not used to. I’m used to working with several grade levels, but you know how just over time you get to know more people. So it feels different not knowing everybody. And I think I’ve kind of been hard on myself in that aspect. But it’s been three weeks with kids. I want everybody to know right now, but I have to earn that. So it’s definitely earning that trust from the student. I’m looking for students to give me a couple of goals and things to accomplish over time. Mr. Porter can’t do everything and he can’t be everywhere. So I would like to be a certain level of reinforcement as well as support for what students are needing. The last thing I would say is just to make sure that my value is transparency.


What were you like in high school?

I loved high school. Kids are so pressed on being adults and I get it—I was one of those. If I could go back, I would go back to my junior year of high school. I like to describe myself as a well-rounded student. I participated in different activities. I wasn’t perfect. I bowled, I was on Student Council. I did soccer, I was involved in a lot of school spirit. And I was fortunate enough kind of going back to that point of education driving you in in changing your circumstances. I was able to get a full ride to Bowling Green State University, a part of the President’s Leadership Academy, for matriculating through different activities. I loved it. I would definitely consider myself a leader, somebody that wanted as many people involved kind of feeling like a family. I also worked a lot at the same time just trying to provide for myself in different things. When I look back, there’s definitely some moments that I missed out on. I was a supervisor at Kings Island at the age of 15. But I would go back to high school in a heartbeat. I loved high school.


What’s your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is a unicorn. Okay, flat out. 


If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are three things that you would bring?

Okay, I’m bringing Liquid IV, an iPod because I have to have my tracks, and Joe Burrow.

Photo Courtesy of @shsaviators on Instagram 

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About the Contributor
Anna Wegener, Deputy Content Editor and Focus Section Editor
    Hi! My name is Anna Wegener and I am a senior at SHS. This is my third year at The Leaf and I am very excited to be the Deputy Content editor and Focus section editor, which means I oversee all the writing components that go into our cover section and focus section. I am thrilled to be a part of the collaborative, behind-the-scenes work it takes to produce a news magazine. While I have always been interested in writing, I had never gotten a chance to freely and independently write without all the irritating language arts class rubrics – until I joined journalism!    Besides journalism, I run cross country, and winter and spring track. I’ve run cross-country and track since 7th grade, and honestly, it is my favorite part of the day. When I’m not running, I like to read (anything!) and spend time with my dog Winnie (lots of walks and tennis ball hunts). I am also always down for binge-watching “Airplane Repo” and taking a good nap on a rainy day. In addition, one of my latest hobbies has been early morning bike rides with my dad to try all the Cincinnati doughnut bakeries. As of this year, I’d recommend the seasonal hot chocolate or year-round buckeye doughnuts at Holtman’s.     Journalism is such an underrated class and I would encourage you to join it next year! It is quite literally the best group project you will ever have.