Steve Green is excited.
Barely a month into his new job as the principal at Lynchburg Elementary School and just a week into the new school year, any anxieties the new principal may have hardly show. He’s good-humored, despite a host of tasks still at hand.
“It’s been an amazing start (to the school year),” said Green, “one of the best starts in 27 years. It’s been a positive starting atmosphere … so many smiling teachers and kids in the hallway. I was welcomed. I sincerely felt that, deep and genuinely. I don’t have enough verbiage to acknowledge to how great it has been.”
Wearing jeans, boots and a plaid shirt, Green hardly looks like the typical elementary school principal. His handshake is firm and his smile is wide and inviting.
A northeast Alabama native, Green seems right at home at LES, from the trophy case in his office to the mounted buck hanging on the wall facing his desk. And he’s gone out of his way to make everyone at the school feel at home as well, even though for now, he’s the new guy.
“I’m rural,” he said matter-of-factly. “I think I fit in perfectly here. I think I’m a good fit.”
Green credits the LES staff for helping with the transition.
“Our teachers came in and got a routine established,” he said. “They’ve been engaging and wonderful with the students. The kicker for me is the number of hugs I’ve started to get each day and the high fives.”
Green meets students at the front door each morning, helping each one get the day started with a hearty “hello.” He’s loud. He’s energetic. And despite nearly three decades in the teaching profession, he still feels like he has work to do.
He wants to continue in Lynchburg what he started in Scottsboro, Ala. Unfortunately, because of his late start here, he’s been busier this year than most other school years.
“The start of school is always such a busy time … planning and coordinating,” Green said. “And we’re going full steam ahead with Common Core. We would have been planning some things if we had a few more weeks. One of the things that we try to do is implement a good RTI strategy so all the kids can get what they are missing. Scheduling and making a point to do that is taking up time.”
The scheduling Green has been working on involves arranging time for faculty members to help students stay on track throughout the school year. If a student begins to lag, Green wants to make sure all the resources are in place to aid any student in need.
“There is a big push in Tennessee … and everywhere … we use data to assess and drive instruction. We can pick out points where kids are not successful. What are we going to do about that?” said Green. “We are trying to provide grade-level appropriate instruction.
“We can give one-on-one, small-dose instruction, more individual instruction or in small groups. We have been working on scheduling for that, scheduling for the extra help.”
It’s obvious that Green cares. And it’s evident that he had the same effect on his faculty and staff at his former school, so much so that more than a dozen of his former staffers visited him in Lynchburg and treated him to lunch at Mrs. Mary Bobo’s.
“We had lots of love in that building I left. When I retired from there it was emotional,” he admitted. “Going to Mrs. Bobo’s was very touching. That type of connection and those types of relationships is what I already see in this building. That’s what I fully expect to see.”
He expects a lot from his staff and his students alike.
“There has been a ton of stuff that I’ve had to digest,” said Green. “What type of student leadership do we have here.? Day 1, I went into every classroom. I try to do that every day to let them see (their) principal, to let them know that I am here and happy doing my job for them.
“The expectations for the 6th-graders (are high). They are the seniors of the building. We’re excited about producing leaders … character education, being responsible, working well with others. There’s lots of things that I have in mind that we can do to instill leadership in the kids.
“The little stuff goes so far.”
It appears that so far, Green is right on track.
By ROBERT HOLMAN, Editor (Robert Holman is the Editor & Publisher of The Moore County News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)