Moving from assistant principal to head principal, Philip Gale has completed his first successful 100 school days as the leader of Penn Manor High School.
And just like the national media who examine the country’s president’s first 100 days in office, Penn Points wanted to take a look at Gale’s first 100 days in the head principal’s office.
“I can’t believe the first semester is over,” said Gale.
Gale quickly credits his smooth transition to all the teachers and assistant principals that have helped him through.
But the job is not without its challenges.
One, he has a tough act to follow.
When beloved principal, Janice Mindish, retired after the 2008-2009 school year and Gale was named to take her place, he said he was fully aware of the expectations and hype that were to follow.
“I will never be able to fill Dr. Mindish’s shoes,” Gale said, acknowledging the differences in their leadership styles.
Some students readily agreed.
“Dr. Mindish was more caring and personable. She was more lenient and had more of a heart. Mr. Gale is more business about what he wants,” said Penn Manor junior, Lindsey Thomas.
“Mr. Gale is more serious and doesn’t really talk to the students, he prefers to keep it on student- principal level,” said Lizza Valentin.
Others have welcomed the change.
“He’s been doing a good job keeping up with the rules and regulations. I think it’s great how a lot of the younger kids are scared of him,” said senior Steph Herr.
“Mr. Gale is more serious about academics, based on our PSSA scores. He’s picking up where Dr. Mindish left off and taking us a step ahead,” Marcos Rivera said on a positive note.
Although there have been no major or even minor glitches in the operation of the high school, Gale does have worries.
“My biggest concern is the whole process is running well, the teachers and the students doing what they’re supposed to do,” Gale said.
But does the pressure of the job keep Gale from sleeping sound at night?
“By the end of the day I am dead tired,” he said.
Although still trying to adjust, Gale is looking forward to the rest of his term as principal.
“I’ve enjoyed my start and hopefully will be doing it for years to come,” said Gale.
As all the seniors in Penn Manor are looking forward to graduation, some more then others, Gale shares the same excitement. This will be the first graduation he will be conducting.
“I just hope all the seniors behave and make me look good,” Gale said.
Some students miss Gale’s presence as an assistant principal, seeing him less in the hallways now that he has the head position but both students and staff know he has more responsibility this year.
“I don’t really see him as much as I do the other principals,” Valentin said.
“I believe it’s been a smooth transition. He’s been doing a good job,” said math teacher, Liz Chismar.
“They have different personalities (Gale and Mindish) but it’s not a big change as far as rules,” Chismar added.
“Mr. Gale has a good awareness of everything, the school, the teachers and their needs and everything else. He has good communication and he was definitely ready and set for the position,” noted guidance counselor Kim Marsh.
As for Gale himself, he’s excited for the rest of the year. He said some problems have come up, referring to the blue tarp that was used to cover the overpass as repairs were being made during Christmas vacation, but they haven’t been problems he can’t handle.
“There have been some transitions and things to get used to. I am still trying to adjust,” he said.
By Miriam Karebu