Positive Relationships

Jason Calahan Principal, Hershey Elementary -- 

Principals understand the importance of a positive relationship with students. At Hershey Elementary, principal Jason Calahan is seldom found in his office. More often, you will see him in the classrooms, lunchroom, gyms, playgrounds and hallways interacting with students and building relationships.

“High Fives” are a tradition at Hershey Elementary and the 256 students enrolled there know they’re not going to walk by Mr. Calahan without a high-five. A video blog inspired by missionmonday.com is another tradition at Hershey Elementary. Calahan records a video each week that is shared throughout the school on the Hershey Elementary YouTube channel. The videos focus on character traits and often include a good dose of humor to drive home the mission for the week.

Calahan and the staff at Hershey dress in costume for Halloween and go all out for Red Ribbon Week. He has been “slimed”, taken pies to the face, and this year will risk eggs broken on his head as an incentive for students to reach Accelerated Reading goals.

“This isn’t about us” Calahan said. “As an elementary principal, you check your ego at the door - we do it for kids and we know the importance of meeting them where they are. I’ll never forget what it was like to be an elementary student -joy and laughter have to be a part of school! I’m always going out of my way to connect with students because I know that relationship can be a difference maker in their success at school.”

Students need a strong sense of purpose and belonging at school before any meaningful learning can take place. The “family” atmosphere is evident as soon as you enter the building. Hershey Elementary has a tagline; when you ask the students about it, just be sure to cover your ears because the goal is to let the whole world know that “We Are Panthers, and We Try Hard Everyday!”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdSwiqGZQxRFgMtCELFBijg/videos

 
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