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New Athens Principal Stephen Mares

New Principal Mr. Mares Talks About his Experience So Far at Athens

Megha Iyer, Staff Writer

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Athens Drive received a new principal, Stephen Mares, Wednesday, October 19, to replace the former principal, Dr. Jim Hedrick who passed away in August.
Mares attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA for his undergraduate degree and attended UNC Chapel Hill for his graduate. Mares lived in Fairfax, VA before moving to North Carolina. Mares previously worked as principal of Broughton High School before becoming principal of Athens. Mares believed that taking the job as principal was the right job for him.
“Athens was where I needed to be. My talents were best utilized here,” said Mares.
When asked what his favorite part about teaching was, Mares replied saying that he loves to meet the new students and staff, and that he loves to watch the students graduate. Mares is looking forward to getting to know everybody at Athens, and he is very excited for the class of 2017 graduation.
When asked about Mares’ least favorite part about Athens, it took him some time to think of something negative to say about the school, but finally Mares replied saying that he did not like having to discipline the kids, but discipline is necessary to keep all of the other students safe.
Mares said that, as of right now, he wants to minimize the number of students that arrive to class late.
“One thing I have noticed is that there are too many students who do not arrive to class on time and too many students who miss class. So that is something that we will be addressing quickly in order to maximize student time in class and support higher student achievement,” said Mares
Trena Kirby, social studies teacher, says that she thinks the principal has made a great first impression and that he has a positive outlook on Athens Drive.
“His enthusiasm is infectious,” said Kirby
Kirby tells me that Mares had actually sat down and talked to every one of the staff members to try to get to know them.
Kirby was also asked about her opinion of the new tardy procedure starting in January where the students go to the cafeteria if they are late instead of straight to class.
“We have to do something because many people think that the bell is a suggestion,” said Kirby.
Mares also enjoys talking to the students. He constantly asks them how their days were, and is very engaging to talk to.
Grace Devlin, sophomore, says that she thinks that Mares will be a great principal who has the potential to positively impact the atmosphere of the school.
Devlin says that she likes the new addition of the pledge to the morning announcements.
“I like the pledge of allegiance because it shows pride and support for the people who serve our country.”
Devlin also says she thinks Mares saying the afternoon announcements makes them very personalized and interactive.
“I enjoy being able to end the day on a positive note by sharing announcements and reminding everybody to focus on our core mission: teaching and learning!” said Mares.

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The official student news site of Athens Drive High School
New Athens Principal Stephen Mares