Q&A: New principal of Logan schools talks about goals, duties

Thompson

Logan Municipal Schools’ new principal is not all that new.

He was in Logan from 2000 to 2004 in the same position. Most recently, he was principal at the elementary school in Texico.

In all, Tommy Thompson has been an educator for 27 years.

Thompson said his first official day back at Logan was on July 1; since then, he has been working to become familiar with the teachers and staff.

He answered questions about his outlook and goals:

Question: What brought you back to Logan?

Answer: I enjoy working as an administrator. After 12 years away, I wanted to get back to the Quay County area.

Q: What are some of the goals you want to accomplish as a principal?

A: I want to help provide a comfortable learning environment for the students and staff. I want to promote a system of education where the students are successful, not just statistically, but in every aspect of their young lives.

There has to be a stronger focus on preparing these students to be successful at the next level and not just increasing graduation rates.

On a spreadsheet, showing that you had a high percentage of graduates can be seen as a successful year. The true measure of success should be if those graduating students are prepared for college course work or are proficient is a trade skill.

Q: Do you feel educators have more of a chance to work individually with students at a smaller school as compared to the size of classes at Texico?

A: Yes … I can tell you that I had as many students enrolled at Texico Elementary as I do in the entire (Logan school system).

As a small school, we have more one-on-one time with our students by virtue of numbers. We have a natural advantage because we are a smaller school.

I know teachers from larger schools who care and work hard at their job. For them, the size of their class is a struggle, having more than 30 kids a class. Here our class size is around 15 students.

Q: In a smaller school, does it give you the advantage to work with more students’ parents?

A: Again I would have to say yes. We have the opportunity to meet more with parents to address their child’s education needs or issues they may be having in school.

Q: What are your duties as principal?

A: On my first day, I was given a list, a lot like the list I was given at Texico Elementary.

On the list are all of the duties and responsibilities I have as principal of Logan schools.

The duties include: setting up schedules for cafeteria, playground and bus duty and submitting information to the New Mexico Public Education Department.

(Thompson’s duties also include attending all home sports events, ensuring eligibility for student athletes and teacher in-service scheduling and coordinating fire, tornado and emergency drills.)

One of the things I enjoy the most about Logan is I get to deal with students from pre-kindergarten to high school seniors. In Texico, I only dealt with pre-k through fifth grade.

Q: How have you begun to address the possibility of an active shooter in the schools?

A: At Logan schools, we are very fortunate to work closely with our local law enforcement and first responders. They have helped tremendously in establishing protocols for that type of situation.

Last year in Texico, I didn’t have an active-shooter situation but did have a male subject come into the school high on drugs.

I have been working with the faculty and staff to make sure we are all up to date on the procedures and action plan should a situation like that occur.

You can prepare, but (if) it actually happens is a totally different story. I trust everyone will do all they can to ensure the safety of the students.”

— Compiled by Senior Writer Thomas Garcia

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