Steve Passinault is starting the Principal Advisory Council to allow students’ to provide more input

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Steve Passinault is starting the Principal Advisory Council to allow students’ to provide more input

“I don’t believe we give students enough opportunities to voice not just concerns, but to give input, feedback, [and help] plan activities,” Principal Steve Passinault said. “I think that that’s important. It’s a weakness, I would say right now, of mine or the administration or whomever. So that’s why we want to improve it.”

Many students at FHC may feel as if there is a disconnect between the student body and our administration, and Passinault is certainly aware of it. In order to combat this detachment, Passinault has been working on a solution to help patch the distance: the Principal Advisory Council.

The Principal Advisory Council will essentially be a group of students, elected by Passinault from a pool of applicants, who will meet with Passinault periodically to discuss their concerns, desires, etc.

“I’d like to have a group of students who are representative of our student body,” Passinault said. “They’d be the student voice to meet maybe once a month– maybe more often since we’re starting late. Students [will] be able to share ideas with me; the ultimate goal is how can we make the FHC experience better? That could be everything from the cafeteria to academics to sports to social situations — the whole gamut of the FHC experience.”

Though Passinault is always trying to connect with students during the school day, he is excited to have the opportunity to talk with students in a more formal environment.

“[The Principal Advisory Council will] help me get my finger on the pulse of the school,” Passinault said. “I try to do it more informally now with just talking to kids, whether it’s in the cafeteria or after school or just at social events. This is just a little bit more structured way to be able to do that.”

Students will be able to voice their opinions about not only everyday things but also special events.

“[This council] also gives me the opportunity to bounce ideas off students or get feedback on different events, like Ranger Strong Week for example,” Passinault said. “It’d be an opportunity for me to talk to students about what they thought went well [and] what students were saying about a particular activity, so [we’ll be able to] tweak and adjust.”

Students will likely appreciate the ability to contribute to our school.

“I think that [the council] will really help the student body have more of a voice and more of a say in what goes on,” said junior Maddie Musgraves. “I really think that it will help in things like Ranger Strong Week so that we can have more of student-oriented feel to everything.”

Senior Emma Yoder echoed similar sentiments about the opportunity for students to directly provide their opinions to the principal.

“I personally think that the Principal Advisory Council is going to be a great thing for FHC,” Emma said. “I think that it’s awesome that students will be able to have more of a voice on what goes on and the decisions that are made just because I think a lot of students feel like they don’t really have a say in what goes on around here sometimes. So I think this is a great way to let students have more of a voice and an opinion.”

With the council, Passinault is also hoping to include students of all backgrounds, so as to allow for a variety of students to provide their input.

“What’d I’d like to do is get a range of students who represent different segments of our community,” Passinault said. “It’s not going to be all Student Council kids, or all AP kids, or all athletes. [It’ll be] kind of a cross section to get a better representation of student thoughts.”

As for the participating students, Passinault believes the council will have a significant impact.

“I’m hoping [the students involved] gain the idea that their voice does matter,” Passinault said, “and that it doesn’t do any good to sit back and complain when something doesn’t go the way you think you should or whatevera�� And also, there are some leadership skills [to gain] because it’s a representative council.”

Above all, Passinault is just grateful for the chance to attempt to create a more fulfilling school atmosphere for the students, from school events themselves to the student-administration relationship.

“I’m hopeful that [the council] will help develop a greater trust between students and faculty or students and the administration,” Passinault said. “I think that can be a positive thing. When there are times when you have to make tough decisions as an administrator, at least students will know that we’re open to their ideas and open to listening. Ultimately, [I hope the council] will enhance the overall experience here for the students. The school’s for the students, not for the employees.”

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