One Month Report: Dr. Feeney’s first month with students as head principal

On July 1, Dr. Benjamin Feeney took over as head principal of the Lampeter-Strasburg High School after spending two years as assistant principal. But the real excitement of the position did not start until the student body arrived on August 24.

Dr. Feeney replaces Mr. Eric Spencer who after five years as principal elected to return to his first love of coaching football and being a classroom teacher .
Dr. Feeney in is old assistant principal office before taking the hot seat of head principal in July.
Becoming principal was not the only exciting event of Dr. Feeney's summer, though. Unbeknownst to most, he went on a Class IV and V whitewater rafting trip in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania with a group of friends.

Ohiopyle whitewater rafting. 
As if that was not thrilling enough, his raft flipped over and sent everyone into the Class IV rapid. Only time will tell if falling into class IV rapids or being a high school principal is more intense for Dr. Feeney.

Dr. Feeney can already sense the major difference between his position as assistant principal and principal. His faculty and staff, students, fiscal, and athletic responsibilities have greatly increased, just to name a few.

He is now in charge of helping to provide an education and positive work environment for LSHS’s 1,000 students and 150 faculty staff members.

As principal, Dr. Feeney hopes to develop a culture of learning. He describes his goals through the “Three C’s:” communication, collaboration, and collegiality. He aims to provide a place where staff and students can learn and collaborate.

He believes that school is not only for the education of students, but also for the growth and learning of teachers. After all, motivated, educated teachers will result in better-educated students.

With shifting demographics addressing the social and emotional needs of students has become a District priority. In fact, it is one of the high school's comprehensive planning goals. In response to this emerging need, Dr. Feeney plans to provide at least three professional development opportunities this year for staff to identify students with needs. He also wants to continue to offer school-based counseling and add support groups for students. Later this fall, a therapy dog will join the high school staff on a daily basis. A program Dr. Feeney has been closely involved with since last year.

When asked what a major goal for the school year is, Dr. Feeney shares that he wants to provide professional learning opportunities for staff. Additionally, he hopes to better educate students using technology.

Dr. Feeney truly sees the potential of a learning environment intertwined with technology. He is working to enhance the use of Schoology (a Learning Management System) and Google Apps. He is already leading the high school’s transition with the help of assistant principal Michele Westphal from the use of Microsoft’s SharePoint commonly referred to as L-S Blue to Google Drive.

Dr. Feeney also strives to continue to find new instructional tools and resources to improve the education experience of students. One of his major goals for the school year is to introduce new learning activities using technology.
Dr. Feeney's educational background and training.
High school principals must possess a great gift of patience and a love for people. Dr. Feeney has been blessed with these gifts and many more, which will attribute to his great success at LSHS, which has already been started in his days as assistant principal.

Then again, if he can survive falling off a raft in rapids that American Whitewater describes as “intense and powerful,” he can survive anything being a principal will throw at him.

Good luck, Dr. Feeney!

--Jillian Pontz, LS News Reporter
Edited: AZ

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