Sample follows middle school kids to EHS
For the coming school year, Principal Dale Sample moved his office furniture nearly two miles south, to be exact.
Leaving a three-year stint as Eudora Middle School principal, Sample takes the place of Superintendent Marty Kobza and his interim stand-in, Don Grosdidier, as Eudora High School principal. Meanwhile, Grosdidier moved into Sample's former position at the middle school.
"The neat thing I've seen about this district is that we're able to work together in everything we do," he said.
Sample stressed how partnerships between students, parents, teachers, the board of education and the community positively influence the high school.
For Sample, that means dealing with overcrowding that keeps classrooms, including band and choir rooms, occupied constantly throughout the school day.
"There is no question that space is paramount," he said.
Coming from the middle school and working at the high school showed him how good the building would be for the middle school students.
"It's easy sometimes to be a little selfish and think, 'What's best for my building?'" Sample said.
But he said he likes to think of the facility as the community's building, opening the school up to Eudora residents as well as students.
"We have to have a partnership with the community," Sample said, that could include mentoring programs and guest lectures in the classroom from community professionals.
Sample said he was happy to be in a district that strove for excellence, whether that meant finishing the softball and baseball fields and adding visitor bleachers to the football field, or improving programs for at-risk students and getting more students involved in college credit classes.
"It's an exciting time," he said. "Most districts are losing enrollment, losing money, and have to keep fighting for their programs."
Working with older teenagers, most of whom he oversaw as middle school students, means working with more mature students.
"The kids at the high school already have their values and ideas on things," Sample said. "If they have an open mind, they can change things."
Sample said he'd miss coaching football as he did at Seaman High School in Topeka before coming to Eudora. But coaching and serving as principal employ some of the same tactics, he said.
"It requires organization," Sample said. "A hundred and fifty different things happen every day."
For now, Sample said, his job was simply to listen and learn.
"I think you take a look at the things you don't foresee; the 150 things you see that are different," he said.