The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

A growing force

New SHS principal grows into her position with confidence
photo by Salem Ortega-Morales

Amy Boone remembers high school, struggling to come out of her shell. She was “extremely shy” and hadn’t figured out what she wanted to do in her future.

When she reached her junior year of high school, she realized she loved math and sports, which led her to become a math teacher and basketball coach.

Eventually, Boone decided she wanted to be an athletic director in administration and worked to get her license.

While her work was in progress, she realized that she might want to pursue an academic role in administration instead.

“Maybe this is an avenue I could pursue and still work with

kids and adults in a different way,” Boone said.

This realization that maybe she enjoyed administration more than she thought has led her to fulfilling the principal position at SHS, which has helped her grow her confidence and personality.

Road to SHS

Before working in administration, Boone coached girls basketball at Westfield High School.

Watching the girls grow both athletically and personally helped Boone realize there was more in store for her.
“I was teaching and really found my passion for growing people in general,” Boone said. “Growing them (basketball players) to see and become more than what they ever thought they could be as people and that maybe there’s even more outside of the classroom that I want to do.”
Boone loved teaching at Westfield, but she was offered a position at SHS to be the Dean of Girls and accepted it.
As she adapted to this new school, she began to make connections within the community. While serving SHS for 14 years, she took up many roles and enjoyed the flexibility they offered.
“I love the idea that in my role, each year was never exactly the same,” Boone said, “even if I was in the same position.”
When former SHS principal Brian Knight announced in May that he was taking up a new job at PTEC, a higher position opened up for Boone.
There were a multitude of applicants who applied for the principal position, but after undergoing many interviews and filling out forms, Boone made the final cut and started her new role as the new principal of SHS.
New role, new normal
New positions come with new adjustments. Although Boone worked as an administrator at SHS, a principal job comes with different responsibilities.
Boone served as an assistant principal for 11 years and associate principal for one year, so she has become comfortable with problem solving and fulfilling her responsibilities.

Boone and her grandma, Doris Harmon, at Boones wedding.
photo contributed by Boone

However, this new position has also challenged her to step out of her comfort zone.
Boone is accustomed to putting plans into ac


tion, but the principal role requires her to take a step back.
“The role of a principal is really to create a vision and systems that you believe need to be implemented to best support the staff and students,” Boone said, “and then you have to let others do the work.”

For Boone, it’s been a shift handing over the responsibilities to others but also overcoming the stress that comes with this authority.
“Yes, there are definitely times where it can feel overwhelming and stressful,” Boone said. “Any job or new position you take, that’s always the case.”
So she reminds herself to take deep breaths and focus on what needs to be prioritized and how to fulfill it.
Balancing her home life and profession can be difficult for her at times since “they kind of bleed over with each other a little bit,” Boone said.
She makes sure she gives time to her family and shows up to their important events to maintain a good balance. For instance, she attends her daughters’ volleyball games and calls her parents when she can.
Boone feels that balancing works well for her since she lives in this community and her daughters attend Southport Middle School.
“I think it’s just making SHS a part of our family is how it kind of works,” Boone said.
Even while Boone is still navigating through these changes, many believe that this job has been destined to her for a while.
Barbara Brouwer, a former principal of SHS, hired Boone in January 2009. As Brouwer worked alongside Boone, she was able to mentor her and prepare her for this role. She knew that Boone deserved this role because of her “phenomenal work ethic.”
“She had the initiative to take on the tough challenges,” Brouwer said. “She had the personality to work with the students and staff.”
Brouwer is one of many people who know Boone is capable.Knight believes that Boone’s diligence and leadership qualifies her for the position.
He says that Boone’s desire to expand her leadership outside of her office has prepared her to take over the principal job.
One way Boone presents leadership outside of school is through being a mother.
Chris Boone, her husband, believes that Boone is not only a great mom but also a great role model. He describes her as a “strong woman leader.”



Female forces

As Boone navigates through her life and the future ahead, she had three women in her life that inspired her to create a different reality for herself, one being Doris Harmon, Boone’s grandmother.
She encouraged girls to read about women in leadership. Harmon has always pushed Boone to ensure success.
“She was also strict and stern,” Boone said. “If you weren’t doing your best, she’d let you know.”
Boone also mentioned how her grandmother from her father’s side and her mother-in-law have overcome diseases and continued to remain strong for their families.
These three women have inspired Boone to pass down inspiration not only to girls but also in high school administration. Working in this profession has made her r

Boone with the Westfield High School girls basketball team. Boone coached the team for five years. photo contributed by Boone

ealize that there aren’t a lot of females. Boone describes it as a “male-domina


ted profession.”
So, she is taking this new opportunity as a chance to change things up.
“I like trying to be a trailblazer and show people that just because it’s the way it’s always been, it doesn’t mean that’s the way it needs to be or should be anymore,” Boone said.

Leaving her mark

With it only being a month into the new school year, some members of the staff say they already notice a new atmosphere

because of her.
“I think she has brought an energy into the building that we haven’t seen in a while,” Assistant Principal Joe Horvath said.


Associate Principal Eric Woodke has spotted this new energy as well.
“Mrs. Boone is always very happy, very excited, very bubbly, and she brings that feel to every meeting or interaction that she has,” Woodke said.
Members of the staff also appreciate Boone’s efforts at promoting gratitude amongst them.
Boone has been challenging the staff to participate in Friday’s Chirps and Cheers, which allows teachers to reflect on their purpose at SHS to give them motivation.
She also encourages them to make phone calls home or write emails to parents about exceptional students.
“So just making those different connections, not just in the building,” Boone said, “but with families and students as well.”

Boone types as she works at her computer on Aug. 23 in her office. Most of the time, she does work here at her desk. photo by Morgan Harmon

Not only does the staff think she’s bringing more gratitude to the atmosphere, but she’s also been restoring old traditions and making new ones.
On their opening staff day, Boone decided to add something different into the mix.
Instead of just standing in front of the staff while lecturing them, she also allowed different groups to explain their responsibilities and how it contributes to the school.
For instance, the librarians, nurses, EL teachers and other staff members were able to create a more familiar and comfortable environment with their co-workers.
Boone explained that watching the staff feel empowered to share their roles and feel valued has been a core memory so far.
A lot of teachers mentioned how this different formatting of their opening staff day was a good use of their time, according to math teacher Cathee Cullison.

“We got to meet them in s mall groups and talk to them a little more than we would get to do if we had a big meeting,” she said.
El teacher Amy Peddie noticed that Boone has been trying to ensure connections are present throughout the school.

Boone works with English teacher Jessi Walpole at a professional development meeting on Aug. 23. She goes to these meeting with the staff every Wednesday. photo by Salem Ortega-Morales

On staff day, Peddie was able to explain the purpose the EL department serves at SHS to smaller groups of staff.
“I really appreciated being able to see the teachers’ faces and talk to them,” Peddie said. “Normally, I would have stood in front of the whole school, all 100 teachers at the same time.”

This new style of staff bonding promoted each department’s diversity and allowed them to feel valued.

Boone is also aspiring to create this same feeling for students.
She’s focused on setting every student up for success. Their theme for this school year is “ignite, connect, empower.”

“We’re working towards the idea of developing our independent thinkers,” Boone said.
Going more in depth, she is also looking back at students’ histories to figure out what they need to improve on.
While looking back, it’s caught her attention that a lot of students who plan to attend college haven’t taken the required AP or DC courses. Many of these students are included in underrepresented populations too.
The administration has taken this into account by identifying those students and providing them with help during iPass. While students receive help, it will improve their capability to thrive in these advanced courses.
“We want to make sure we’re providing equal opportunities for all students,” Boone said.
Being able to watch kids grow has helped Boone grow herself. Through all her years of working as a coach or as a part of administration, she’s broken out of her shell and became accustomed to being a Cardinal.
“I just kind of fell in love with it here,” Boone said.

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About the Contributor
Lucy Len Dim, Features Reporter
Hi guys, I’m Lucy Len Dim! I’ve always loved being able to express ideas and feelings through writing, so I joined the Journal as a Feature reporter. I try to be involved and open myself up to new opportunities so I joined Drama Club and I serve as  the Sophomore Class President. After high school, I plan to study psychology and teaching alongside theater arts. But, I’d absolutely love to go on a mission trip where I can share my faith with others because I love kids and of course, traveling! I am in LOVE with Tennessee, rainforests, and beaches so I’d definitely love to head there for a trip. In my free time, I watch rom-coms and family shows with my brothers while eating endless bags of spicy chips. My favorite rom com is “10 Things I Hate About You” and my favorite family show is “Fuller House.” Speaking of family, playing volleyball with my cousins is my way of ending a perfect summer grill-out night. Nevertheless, I’m happiest with my girls. We support and help one another out while still living out our teenage girl lives! We love listening to Taylor Swift together! But even though I love being surrounded by people, I’m a complete germaphobe and clean freak. I hate bacteria, dirt, or just the risk of getting sick. So to sum it up, I love bright, unique energy and hope I can bring some to you through our feature stories!

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