Posted Date: 09/11/2017
Change is hard. It makes you feel nervous and a little scared from uncertainty, but sometimes it is for the better. This year, Marion High School has had a drastic change in administration.
Mr. Paul Johnston and Mr. Jonathan Crymes are the new principal and vice principal, and they have nothing but positive things to say as far as their vision and what direction they feel the school is slowly but surely heading.
“I want our school to be the leading school in Crittenden County, eastern Arkansas,” Principal Johnston stated, “I want our school to be out there so that people drive by MHS or they hear about us, and they know they can bring their kids here to get a great education and be part of our athletic department or any other extracurricular activity they do so choose.”
Mr. Johnston was already a part of the Patriot community, as the former athletic director and emergency response coordinator. Mr. Crymes, however, is coming over from our hometown rivals, the West Memphis Blue Devils, where he was an assistant football coach and teacher.
During his role as emergency coordinator, campus safety was Mr. Johnston’s number one priority. As he transitions to his new role as principal, that same dedication to safety is not wavering. Led by Johnston, the administrative staff brainstormed ideas to support the effort.
In addition to the new vest rule, gates are also locked during the day, and teachers will be trained using the A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) program. This is focused around a phone app (Rave Panic Button) that can help get emergency services to a precise location on our campus within a few minutes of pressing a button.
“If we were to have a dangerous person on our campus, an instructor, teacher, whomever will have this on their phone. They can press that button, it sends a text to everybody in the institution, law enforcement from sheriff’s department to the city police, fire department, ambulance, the central office will know someone’s pressed that button, and a warning will be sent out to teachers that they need to implement their A.L.I.C.E procedures,” Mr. Johnston said.
As a football coach, Mr. Crymes is no stranger to working hard and making sure his players were properly disciplined, and he says that these things prepared him for his job as vice principal.
“Hard work is something I’ve always done. The hours don’t bother me; the work doesn’t bother me. We could stay up here ‘til midnight everyday, or we could be done at five o’clock everyday. Whatever we gotta get done up here we do until we’re done. We don’t enjoy calling parents, but if that’s what it takes we’ll do it.”
In their time as administrators, Assistant Principal Crymes and Principal Johnston have run into a few road blocks, but they have not been discouraged. They are both determined to make sure that the school meets its full potential in being the best high school it can be.
“You live, you learn, you keep on rolling. The thing is you don’t stop working, you keep finding new things to make things work, you make kids know that education is important,” Mr. Crymes asserted.
By: Ciara Massey and Sarah Parker