Dan Ralston fulfilling new duties

Sarah Junko, Team Lead Editor

Dan Ralston is starting his first year as an Assistant Principal. He is filling in for Assistant Principal Bill Howlett while he is on medical leave. Ralston will be taking over all of Howlett’s duties and responsibilities while he is unable to.

“There are a lot different responsibilities from a counselor to an assistant principal, one of the fun ones is getting into the classrooms more and doing teacher observations and working with teachers on improving and becoming better teachers, and complimenting them on the work that they’re doing already.”

— Dan Ralston

Ralston spent five years teaching at Valley Crossing community school, then nine years as a counselor at North Branch Area High school and two years as a counselor at Stillwater Area High school before starting his first year as an assistant principal in the White Pony Center this year. Ralston is looking forward to getting to know new students and helping to bring a bigger change to the school’s atmosphere.

Ralston was chosen by Principal Robert Bach to be the interim Assistant Principal. His skills as a counselor will greatly benefit his ability to be a good assistant principal. According to junior Morgan Theno, former student for the Black Pony Center, “When I went to talk to him, he really listened to me. He shut his computer off and he was really focused on what I was saying.”

Assistant Principal Mary Leedam Ticiu said, “Mr. Ralston was a brilliant choice. He had experience in a pony center and had worked alongside many principles in the past, that makes him an excellent choice for the future.” Ralston has both the experience and the educational background to give him an edge in his new position.

Ralston’s offer to become an assistant principal was very last minute. “Abrupt, it happened really late in August when Mr. Howlett found out he was ill, it was a quick “What are we going to do?” to fill that assistant principal role.  So, Mr. Bach came down and asked me if I was interested and we had lunch and talked about what it looked like.  So, Friday it was introduced to me and Monday I was an assistant principal and was introduced to the staff as the interim assistant principal,” said Ralston.

Ralston was an exceptional counselor and has what it takes to be an outstanding assistant principal. Ticiu said the reasons why he was a good choice are, “A: He was the only male counselor in the building and that was very important to the students. B: He had a license to be a counselor and also a license to be an administrator. The two perspectives made made him understand and see beyond what the counselors role might be, should there be a reason for the student to move into the principals care.”

There are many differences between a counselor and an assistant principal. Ralston explained a few:  “There are a lot different responsibilities from a counselor to an assistant principal, one of the fun ones is getting into the classrooms more and doing teacher observations and working with teachers on improving and becoming better teachers, and complimenting them on the work that they’re doing already. Student discipline is something new, counselors don’t get to deal with the student discipline aspect. I’m in charge of a lot of things like safety and security. The parking lot and some of those managerial tasks that administrators have to deal with as well.”

Ralston is making a quick transition from his old counselor position. His background as a counselor and as an educator are aiding him in becoming the best assistant principal that he can be. He is quickly adapting to his new responsibilities and he is enjoying his new relationship with the staff and students.