Lots of hands shoot up with smart answers

Last year, I took photos at schools all over District 10 as community leaders and volunteers served as Principal for A Day. This time, Moss Haven Elementary Principal Philip Henderson invited me to try sitting in his chair.

It’s much harder than it looks.

We began with the day’s announcements, delivered by sixth graders with personality-plus. Their notice of the first afterschool meeting of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Club intrigued me, so I visited club sponsor Jennifer House.

House demonstrated the robotics equipment purchased by the MHE PTA and said her students would be learning coding techniques to direct the robots to perform simple tasks. Some kids, she anticipated, would arrive as coding novices, but some might have experience working with robots and similar toys in their home. She’s already enrolled the team in an upcoming competition.

Next we visited Kim Aman, better known to students as Farmer Aman. Monarch butterflies, she told the kids, are currently migrating to Mexico and can be mapped and observed as they move. In the garden, she pointed out fat bumblebees pollenating flowers and vegetables.

Librarian Christina Knape helped me find a book, and I read Moldilocks and the Three Scares to rapt Kindergarten students. (They helped me with a few difficult words and soothed me during the scary parts.)

I also pitched in with lunch duty, which mostly involved opening packages of Lunchables and answering questions from inquiring minds. I was in heaven.

At a group lunch at Shady’s, the other volunteer principals told me their teachers and students were as bright and impressive as mine at Moss Haven. Thank you to organizers Brenda Payne, RISD’s assistant superintendent, and Fierce Female Christie Myers, jack-of-all-trades in District 10 and nominee for Dallas Foundation’s Good Works Under 40. Thanks also to volunteer principals Vicky Taylor (Lake Highlands Public Improvement District), Steve Fahey (Project Safe Neighborhoods), Brad McCutcheon (Plano Fire-Rescue), Lynn Davenport, Paul DeRousselle (Dallas City Attorney), Mark Holmes (Lennox), Denise Gomez (Children’s Health), Breon Dennis (Frisco RoughRiders), Sam Merten, Monique Christian-Long (Forest Green Public Library), Daniel Crisler (Trinity Athletics), Jim Bassi (Vortex Aquatics), Jamie Coleman (Nexus Community Church), and Javier Hernandez (CMG Financial).

Busy girl on computer


Happy learners

Farmer Kim Aman and Principal Philip Henderson with students in the farm

Kim Aman teaches a lesson at the farm