My wife and I dropped anchor across the street from Lincoln High School over 40 years ago. Like living next to the ocean, with the ebb and flow of the kids coming and going, year after year, we’ve grown accustomed to the bells, the announcements over the loud speakers, and the daily traffic jams before and after school.
Needless to say, we’ve dealt with a series of administrators, principals and vice- principals, many of whom would rather you not disturb them in their realm. One said, that unless a student is on the campus, it’s not their problem. When I called about
students smoking behind the gym, my input was characterized as complaining.
Such as it is among some school administrators who think more about their retirement payout than the students they’re entrusted with.
But then out of the blue, along comes a principal named Jay Berns, who gives
out his cell number and says call me if you have a problem.
What? Who is this guy? Where’d he come from? And then you notice the problem is gone, taken care of. The students seem more disciplined. You have to visualize us
as practically living on campus; we are that close.
Most mornings after the Pledge of Allegiance over the loud speakers, we often hear someone I perceive as Mr. Berns, giving a pep talk. They’re sort of cleaned-up
versions of Patton addressing his troops. Those short talks seemed to be
coming from an individual who understood the need of many young adults for
structure and direction, dare I say, from a male voice.
With perfect conditions, as Lincoln High School was sailing on course, the good captain was thrown overboard by those who hired him. Why? They said, “There was absolutely
no issue of impropriety.”
Can a principal be fired for doing too good of a job? Show me a great high school and I will should you a great principal.
In my opinion, Jay Berns was an outstanding principal. Bottom line: will his ouster be good for the students? The ball is in the school board’s court.
Don Stewart, Lincoln