The student news site of Collinsville Community Unit School District 10

The Kahoki

The student news site of Collinsville Community Unit School District 10

The Kahoki

The student news site of Collinsville Community Unit School District 10

The Kahoki

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Meet Asst. Principal Mr. Dunn

Meet Asst. Principal Mr. Dunn

Q: What was your job/position before an assistant principal at CHS?
A: I taught for a dozen years as a high school English teacher..in a couple of different places. Most recently in Carbondale, Illinois, and then four years ago we moved out here, and I worked in Missouri doing teacher trainings, so working with schools to help teachers learn different strategies and techniques to be better teachers!

Q; Why did you decide to work at CHS?
A: Well there’s a couple of different reasons. Number one, I wanted to get back into a school, for the last four years I wasn’t at one school in particular I jumped to a whole bunch of different ones, and I kinda missed the community of a school. And for another reason, I really liked the diversity that CHS had. That’s something that I think is really important for kids to experience as they are growing up, so I was interested in that as well.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job?
A: Definitely going into classrooms, and seeing kids learn and teachers teach, that’s the best part. I hate the discipline part, I don’t like it at all! 

Q: How do you balance your life and your work at CHS
A: You have to set priorities, and so far when I’m outside of work I have to make sure I’m devoting time and attention to my 3 kids. My wife and I have to make sure we are turning our brains off when we leave work. And then, I like to workout so I have to make sure I do that in the morning because otherwise it’s not gonna get done.

Q: What has impressed you the most about CHS students and/or faculty?
A: I would say a couple things. For the faculty, we are trying to re-envision the way we do professional learning communities where teachers work together to learn new things and use data to improve their instruction. And I’ve really been impressed with the way that teachers are open to new ideas. So that’s cool. For the students, very respectful…for the most part-not all but most! I think what gets hard in this job is that we see the same few kids and it’s easy to kind of associate them with the whole population. But that’s definitely not the case, there are tons and tons and tons of good kids doing their absolute best, trying as much as possible and that’s really encouraging.

Q: What motivates you about your job?
A: Well going back to that previous question about PLC’s and helping teachers, like that’s still one of my main focuses, is trying to help teachers teach better. And do the best job that they can do to help all students because I feel like that’s where everybody can get better-and me myself, I can get better, teachers can get better. We obviously worry about students getting better and growing and learning, but we need to too.

Q: How would you describe CHS culture?
A: That’s interesting, I don’t know. I think the whole idea that it’s a small school but a giant community, it feels very “homey”. It’s very tight-knit. And I’m not from here, so it’s kind of interesting sometimes to be “the guy who’s not from here.”

Q: What are some challenges you’ve faced with your job?
A: Well I mentioned the discipline thing, that’s not something I like necessarily. I have tried as much as possible to make that not a “threatening conversation” because I don’t want it to be that way. And as much as possible I try to talk about how we can do things differently or how students can do things differently, and give students a goal to shoot for. That and being able to go into classrooms because part of my day is spent dealing with discipline when I really would like to spend 90% of my day walking through classrooms.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish this year at CHS?
A: I would love to see when I walk into a class that students are excited about what they are learning, that teachers are excited about what they are teaching, and that it’s an environment that’s really good for learning. And we are getting there, and I think in some classrooms this environment already exists and some classrooms are excited about learning new stuff to help them create that environment.

Q: In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good high-school assistant principal?
A: A good communicator, someone who will talk to anyone and everyone. And somebody that knows how to share and distribute leadership. I think being able to have empathy or understanding is important for everybody, so that we understand where students are coming from and where teachers are coming from. I think that’s really important for everyone to have.

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About the Contributor
Camille Gardner
Camille Gardner, Staff Writer
  Camille is currently a senior at Collinsville High School and a first-year writer for the Kahoki Newspaper. She is also a part of the concert choir here at CHS, and enjoys singing with her peers. Her hobbies include writing, reading, shopping, and crocheting. She loves spending time with her family and adores her little sister. She hopes to develop a vast array of writing skills and maybe write a book of her own one day.

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