GLHS has welcomed a new face to the front of its community, as principal Jessica Slocum has taken charge of her new domain.
While Slocum was the dean of curriculum last year, this new position offers more opportunities to engage with students and be at the forefront of the Gahanna community.
“I love the one high school aspect. It gives the true family-community feel. That’s what drew me to Lincoln High School” Slocum said. By the end of week three, she has found “no downsides, so far” to her job, and has expressed a great deal of interest in helping to energize, rally, and engage students. Slocum hopes to bring more innovative ways of teaching to Gahanna.
The heart of her goals for the school is to avoid anything “stagnant or stale.” Instead, she plans for students to “continue to be on the cutting edge, to be the leaders.”
As she “prefers to build on the foundation we have here,” Slocum is aiming to highlight some of GLHS’ assets and improve upon areas that are lacking.
Slocum understands that, “it’s easy to continue in education as we always have,” but prefers to instead challenge the status quo and provide students with unique and helpful opportunities. Slocum believes that Gahanna should emphasize the importance of “problem finders,” as well as solver; with both tools, students will be far more well-equipped to conquer any class, club, or job. When students are not only able to identify that a math problem is incorrect, for example, but can also locate the errors and understand how they are preventable, they will develop a deeper appreciation of the skills and lessons.
Before her role as dean of curriculum, Slocum was an auditor for an accounting firm. With a family whose involvement in education has transcended generations, however, it became inevitable that Slocum, too, would someday join the millions of administrators, teachers, and faculty who make schools across America function on a daily basis. She attributes her initial involvement in education to positive role models and mentors, such as her older sister, who encouraged her to be a leader in the local community.
GLHS’ daunting size does not intimidate Slocum, as she recognizes that its “school pride is big. [I am to work on] re-establishing that to a point where students do not only enjoy coming to school everyday but [school pride] just oozes out of them”. Whether the source of student pride are organizations, classes, or teams, Slocum advocates that “finding opportunities where we can all collide together, create positive memories together,” is really what creates a functional community.
Slocum is eagerly anticipating the simultaneous challenges and achievements she can conquer and earn as principal, and cannot wait to see what the rest of the fall, semester, and school year bring.