Hello Brainerd Community. I would like to introduce you to, Mr. Christopher James, Brainerd’s High new principal. Mr. James is from Louisiana. He is the youngest of three siblings, 1 older sister and a brother. Growing up, he didn’t really play sports. Just like most mothers say “What happens if you don’t make it?” or “if you get hurt what will be your back up plan?” That was exactly how Mr. James mother thought. She wanted him to focus on academics more than sports, which led him to where he’s at now, giving Brainerd a better reputation.
The physical changes have been very noticeable from the new painting to the removal of trees in the courtyard. Mr. James ambition to connect with this school’s community led him to work with the alumni association this summer. The alumni is the main reason we see the physical changes. They paid for our cafeteria to be painted and got down and dirty to help clean the school. In the future, he plans on changing the curtains in the auditorium, getting new chemistry labs, and adding TV’s in the cafeteria.
On the other hand, many have asked why A-day and B-day? The reason for this was that it becomes a small learning community. A small learning community has the same principal and counselor each school year, instead of switching everything every year by your grade level. This also builds relationships and connections like he wants to do. Also A-day and B-day now pushes ACT to the end of the year instead of in the fall, which gives us way more time to get prepared. Now does that make you feel better about our A and B days?
On to college, Mr. James is planning to take each grade level on college field trips. For the freshmen, he plans on taking them to Chattanooga State: For sophomores, UTC: For juniors, ETSU and UTC: Finally, for seniors, ETSU and MTSU. He believes this will help students who want to go to college, but don’t know what it takes to get there.
At the end of our interview, I asked him what he wants his legacy to be. His answer was very heart-warming, with an “us” response. For example, when we go off to college, he wants to be able to say he helped “us” get on track to do it. He also, wants to leave his fingerprints on increasing our school population. For one, to better our sport teams and making it more diverse. All in all, he just wants to turn the perception of Brainerd from negative to positive.
By: Amarah Robinson (11th grade BHS student)
A Talk with Our Dean of Students
By: Lexis D Moore
What is one of the major discipline problems here at Brainerd?
Mrs. Seay: “Insubordinate students sometimes feel they don’t have to do what teachers request. Especially when students get caught in the hallway and the teacher comes back with discipline they feel they don’t have to comply”
“So I would say insubordination which is a failure to respond to a reasonable request, and also there is a lot of truancies and tardiest”
Is truancy a major problem in Brainerd High School?
Mrs. Say: “Last year we had a serious absenteeism issue here. It was over 53 percent, so that means about 53 percent of the students who attend here were chronically absent”
“So lets’ say roughly the school was populated at 600, more than 300 are chronically absent meaning they’re out of school more than 16 days in a year”.
What is your goal as Dean of Students?
Mrs. Seay: “My goal for the students as Dean of Students, is to f be their support, and that support is providing the necessary ---discipline for students, and that also looks like mediating between students and teachers when things do get out of hand”
“My job is also to advocate for students. I am responsible for the attendance and truancy, so my job honestly is to make students want to be here and sometimes making students want to be here means providing structure”