Principal for a day, or, Amber Almighty

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Every student at some point in their life has wished to be able to take over their school. They have wondered and daydreamed and planned everything that they would do differently if they were the principal.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to find out what it's really like. On Nov. 10 I became the principal of Notre Dame Regional High School, as a reward for being the top seller of activity week. I took on all the roles and all the responsibilities that a real principal would have. I became Brother Amber and, for one day, I was in charge.

I decreed it PJ day and let everyone go home around noon. I played music over the intercom while students changed classes, I ordered pizza for all my fellow seniors and sold hot dogs and dilly bars to everyone else. None of my friends went to class but instead got an excused absence to be in the principal's office, and we gave out candy and made random fun announcements over the intercom. I answered the phone and helped students who came to me. But I have a pretty good idea that being principal is a lot more than making announcements and eating doughnuts in your office all day long.

Brother David does so much for our school that goes unnoticed. I didn't even want to go near all the papers and the to-do list he had in his office. But getting a new principal wasn't the only change that went on at Notre Dame that day. Brother David took on my life. He went to all my classes and did everything that I would do that day. He sat in my seat, looked at my books and was held accountable for everything I was responsible for.

To make the switch more realistic, I dressed up in his "monk attire," and he put on a wig and his pajamas like I would. This was a wonderfully fun day that I will never forget. And that is why Notre Dame is so wonderful and Brother David and his staff are so great. I can't think of many other schools that would hand the day over to a high school senior.

Amber Karnes is a senior at Notre Dame Regional High School.

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