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Schroeder’s New Groove

Reporter Ellie Akough gets an inside look at former history teacher's new role as dean

Ellie Akough, Reporter

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This fall, Elkhorn South students received a fresh dean beside their ambiguous Chromebooks. Their old Dean of students, Dr. Megan Meyers, transferred to Waverly High School to work as Vice Principal. A fresh start for Dr. Meyers also means a clean slate for many students at Elkhorn South. One less feeling of anxiety walking down the hallway could make a student’s day. Although much of the position is to lay the hammer down, a good portion of it just isn’t.

The connotation of “Dean of Students” at any high school can easily be misconstrued to imply that administration only exists to get kids in trouble. Hundreds of Elkhorn South students seem to hold the belief that the adults with offices behind the conference room are out to get them. Meet Elkhorn South’s recently appointed dean, Mark Schroeder. He’s tenacious, arguably overqualified, and devoted to making his day about kids and for students.

Breaking the stigma that the dean is always a power hungry tyrant is one of Schroeder’s main priorities. Schroeder was adamant that he wanted to be there for students and decrease the rift between the job and the student body.

“For a lot of kids, my role will be just as much the role of a counselor or an ear that listens as it will be Discipline God, at least I hope,” Schroeder said. While he concedes that much of his job is behavioral, the new dean wishes and is actively trying to be more.

“My fear is that you just become the law man, essentially, and I wanna do more than that,” Schroeder said.

His answers consistent have a theme of attributing the reason he enjoys his job so much to the students. By and at large, the most publicly approved school staff do the work they do because those employees love kids.

“It’s a lot easier to develop a relationship with a kid in a teacher’s role – you see them every single day – whereas with this role I only see you when you’ve been sent,” Schroeder said. “I’m trying to be as present as I can and see kids in different situations but it certainly was easier to develop a relationship in a positive aspect than it is now.”

 

From all he’s said, one can tell that Schroeder wants there to be a certain friendliness to enter the school along with his new position, he wants to make the linoleum floors and fluorescent lights somehow a bit more tolerable. “The hope is never to be feared. Somebody asked me to describe it: when I was teaching, I was trying to make things best for kids. Now, in this role, I’m doing the same thing I’m serving kids and students.”

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