Pollock says focus will be on team building, accomplishing goals –
By Patricia Beech –
Manchester High School will begin the new school year with a new principal. Dana Pollock, who left her Superintendent’s position at Northwest High School after just one year, says she discovered she preferred the halls of academia over the constraints of administration.
“I decided I’d rather be around kids and I needed to be back in a school building,” she said. “This opportunity came up and I took it.”
Pollock began her 17 year career as a math teacher in the Portsmouth City School District. While there, she worked her way up to Assistant Principal, then Principal before joining the school system’s central office staff.
Pollock says the Manchester position appealed to her because it had a small town feel about it.
“I’m from South Shore, Kentucky – a small town with a single red light, so working in a rural school really appeals to me.”
The unexpected announcement last fall that DP&L would be shuttering its power plants, resulting in significant cuts to the MLSD’s operating budget, Pollock said was a consideration, but not a deterrent to her accepting the principal’s position.
She says her focus in the coming school year will be on bringing people together to accomplish their goals.
“I plan to work on building a relationship with the students and the staff,” she says. “I’d like to pull everybody together to work as a team to help our kids achieve all they can academically.”
She says she doesn’t intend to “revamp everything” but will focus instead on student achievement.
“The kids are the most important thing,” she says. “They need to know that we are here for them, and that we’re going to do everything we can to help them achieve their goals.”
A former math teacher, she says she will focus on improving students’ math skills.
“Our students’ geometry scores weren’t great last year, so I want to work with the staff and figure out what we can do to help improve them – that will definitely be one of my focuses, along with attendance.”
New state regulations regarding absenteeism during the 2017-18 school year will present a challenge to both of the county’s school districts, neither of which added personnel to deal with the new requirements.
“I’m going to work with the office staff to make sure we monitor the kids’ attendance, and absenteeism is going to be one of the first things we talk with the kids about during the first few days of school,” said Pollock. “They need to be here in order for us to accomplish what we want, and we’re going to make sure they understand the requirements and the consequences of absenteeism.”
She says she plans to be a visible presence in the community.
“I plan on attending some of the extra curricular activities, and getting out to meet the people,” she says. “I’m excited to be here and I’m eager to get started.