Relationships

Josie Floyd Principal, Sutherland Elementary -- 

Josie believes that a strong education begins with one thing; “RELATIONSHIPS”.  In order for learning to occur, positive relationships must be established.  During her 18 years as principal at Sutherland Elementary, she begins every day building relationships and connecting with kids.  Prior to the beginning of a school day, she will be found walking or skipping with students during Walkie Talkie time and sharing her blue tooth speaker (with student requested tunes of course).  “Students love the music and walking with friends.  It generates a positive atmosphere, you can feel the energy and it serves as a (child thermometer).”  Floyd shares.  It doesn’t stop there.  You will see staff lining the hallway and every student receives and shares a handshake, smile, and positive greeting every morning as they travel to their classroom.  “Did I mention, it’s all about RELATIONSHIPS?”

Josie Floyd shares, “It is important for students to see you as a REAL person.”  She along with staff members surprise students with a theme at Halloween every year.  “They are always excited to see who the staff will be dressed up as.”  From Cruela Deville to Wonder Woman, creating excitement and energy for our kids is so much fun!

A principals’ “work” doesn’t stop at the school doors.  From being taped to a wall or to a pie in the face, Floyd is always up for a challenge from her students.  Most recently, Floyd was part of a “Kiss A Donkey” community fundraiser along with three other individuals including a Sheriff, Village Board Chairman, and the Rural Fire Board President.  Students, parents and a plethora of community members filled the school gym on a Sunday afternoon to witness a few games of donkey basketball (Sutherland Public School vs. Hershey Public School) and the much-anticipated kissing of the donkey.  Students anxiously dropped money in Mrs. Floyd’s bucket in hopes that she would be the winner.  She was the lucky winner and puckered up for a wet and slimy kiss from a donkey.  “The kids were so excited on Monday.  They came to school talking about the event with big smiles and so much enthusiasm.  It is something they will remember for a long time and our Monday morning was filled with smiles and laughter.”

To individuals who aren’t as familiar with an elementary school, these activities may seem to be unnecessary or uncalled for.  Bottom line is, it is all about the kids.  When time is allocated to build positive relationships with kids, they are excited to come to school, smile more, are more willing to take risks and want to do their best!  Who wouldn’t want that?

 
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