Leonard looks to the future


Shelby Foster

Principal Allen Leonard poses for a photo in his office on the day of the “Great American Eclipse.” “Safety is number one,” Leonard said. “Number two is making sure that [students] have the proper environment… and the time to be able to accomplish what needs to be done.”

Kyle Soto, Staff Writer

As the 2017-2018 school year commences, Allen Leonard enters his third year as the principal of Starr’s Mill High School with hopes of maintaining a safe and successful educational setting.

Leonard desires to follow our school motto and demand excellence from students and faculty.”

— Staff Writer Kyle Soto

“I am focused on students and making sure they are successful in every arena and go out and become successful members in our society,” Leonard said.

Leonard’s philosophy is as follows: students first, teachers second, and everything else third. He follows this mindset as an approach to prioritize students and create an effective educational environment.

In addition to creating an active learning environment, Leonard desires to follow our school motto and demand excellence from students and faculty. Although Starr’s Mill is impressive in academics, athletics, and fine arts, Leonard calls on his students to “always look to improve,” even when it might be difficult to find room for improvement. Leonard is hoping he can support students and faculty continue to make Starr’s Mill a phenomenal school.

“We always want to look for areas that need improvement,” Leonard said. “The areas that need improvement, those are the easy [areas] to find. Ultimately, it’s my job to make sure we continue to improve even when we’re doing very well.”

One of Leonard’s major focus points this year is moving past the renovation process. Various renovations have come to Starr’s Mill over the past few months, such as new water fountains, newly painted lockers to match school colors, cafeteria lights, and a complete renovation of the auditorium. These renovations bring a fresh, new feel to the Mill, but also hold various benefits for students. The newly painted lockers add to the already heightened sense of school spirit while some classes will have access to Connected Classroom screens, which will bring forth many new opportunities for students.

Ultimately, it’s my job to make sure we continue to improve even when we’re doing very well.”

— Principal Allen Leonard

Secondly, safety, a concept that is generally a second thought at Starr’s Mill, is another priority at the top of Leonard’s list. Without a sense of security in the learning environment, one can become distracted and the ability to learn can be hindered. In order to maintain an environment where students are able to focus on their education, Leonard prioritizes safety and will be looking to make Starr’s Mill even safer.

School spirit and a sense of togetherness is important for any school. Luckily, the Panther Nation has a “special” type of school spirit, according to Leonard.

“It would be very challenging to build up more school pride,” Leonard said. “Having worked in other places, I think this school is special with [school pride].”

Although there may be very little room for improvement as far as school pride goes, Leonard believes the Panther Nation can still raise the standard. A piece of that is in the newly painted lockers, which now match school colors. Everywhere students look, colors that represent the Panther Nation and what it stands for will be right there. Leonard also calls on more students to turn up to sporting events as a way to support our athletic programs.

Lastly, Leonard wants to leave a legacy of progression and supporting students and teachers. He hopes in doing so, Starr’s Mill will continue to host a progressive learning environment where students will be able to use numerous opportunities to further their education.

“I really do believe I am here to help serve [the students and teachers],” Leonard said.