It was a hot and muggy Friday afternoon but Dr. Chris Whipple is ready to roll.
“I can’t wait,” said Dr. Whipple, the new Ruben A. Cirillo High School principal during the July 28 lunchtime barbecue to meet students and parents. It’s still more than a month away from the first day of school for Gananda students and staff, but Dr. Whipple said events like the barbecue amplify the anticipation.
“Everyone's been very welcoming and it feels very natural," said Dr. Whipple. "They're telling me about their summers and giving me ideas for the school year so that's been exciting."
Of course, principals most often are associated with discipline but Dr. Whipple makes it a point to be seen and heard beyond that part of the job.
“I love trying to get into classrooms and just observing and also participating whether it’s a class discussion going on about a current event or interactive games,” he said. “I feel like the kids get energized and for me I either look really good, or I look really silly but it also kind of humanizes you.”
Dr. Whipple was appointed to the principal’s position on May 3 and his first day was July 1. You can read his introduction to the district here.
Also at the Friday barbecue was Ms. Mairi Greibus, who some Gananda students will recognize right away. But they’ll need some time to recognize her in her new role in the district.
On July 1, Ms. Greibus was appointed the new assistant principal of Ruben A. Cirillo High School. She’s been with the district for 10 years, teaching Spanish in the middle and high schools.
“I’m excited but also sad to not teach because teaching really is my passion,” she said during the July 28 lunch barbecue to meet students and parents head of the 2023-24 school year. “But I wanted to reach more students. When you teach a language, you only have those students and you’re not a core course … this will let me help bring it back together and that’s really important to me.”
Working with more students is what Ms. Greibus hopes can make a bigger difference to enrich the education process.
“I want to make sure all students feel seen and heard,” she said. “And giving them options so that they feel successful. I think we have to be more creative to our approach to discipline and education pathways and that’s by working with the students and their families. To make sure that we’re meeting their needs.”