Tik Tok Interview with Dr. Reynolds


Shelby M. and Simone D., editor

What part of your job do you find to be the most difficult?

“Honestly, when I have to hand out a harsh penalty for something. High school teachers and administrators in movies are portrayed as bumbling idiots who just really enjoy punishing kids, but the opposite is true. We go into this business to help kids, and we don’t like to hand out stiff penalties like a suspension or expulsion or alternative placement somewhere. I do understand that sometimes it does take a very stiff penalty to get somebodies attention to make sure they really reflect on what they’ve done, but it’s not fun to do. The other piece that can be really hard sometimes is working with families who are having some real struggles and there’s no easy solution. You do the best you can to support and give resources but you can just see it is painful and tough sometimes.”

As principle, do you feel like you get the chance to connect with students as much as you would like to?

” I do, I do. I love kids and I find that even in my role. I was worried about that when I decided to go into administration because I really love teaching and I loved my classroom and the relationship I had with kids. But I find I have just as much contact in a positive way, so it’s not a problem. I think as long as you are open to kids and not just immediately judgmental and harsh that you can still have good relationships.”

What is the best memory you have of when you were a student here?

“Well, you know I was on the dance team and even back then we had really great pep rallies and we had a lot of fun at football games. So I would say overall, some of my best memories are with fun school events and school spirit.”

Many students are complaining that the bathrooms are really unclean this year?  Is administration aware and can anything be done to improve the situation?

“We have heard that, and I don’t know why but for some reason this year we have had a lot more incidents of students pulling the toilet paper off and shoving it down the toilets. We have had a lot more plumbing issues because people are showing roll after roll. The way our custodial staff works is that, I know this seems counter-intuitive, is that we have a limited staff during the school day, and more people when the students are gone because then they push into all the rooms and do all the cleaning in there. Some days it’s a matter of really struggling to have the people address all the issues because students are being really destructive. Now I will say this: we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know how bad a bathroom is until the end of the day, because that’ s when all of them get cleaned by the evening staff. We do have three people on staff during the day to address the issue, but we really need people to report it. Honestly, if somebody goes to a bathroom and it’s just disgusting, it would be helpful to tell a teacher or administration member.”

What music do you listen to and why?

“I’ve been through many different generations of music. When I was in high school and it was the 80s, 80s pop was fine, but I started getting really interested in more alternative music like The Cure, and you know back then U2 was alternative (it’s mainstream now). My tastes have changed over the years; in the 90s I was really into the grunge movement, so I liked kinda rock and roll. Then I went through a time where I liked Jam Band and almost folk kind of music. My tastes are very eclectic because I love music, so I love music from different genres. I would say my favorite musician is somebody you guys have never heard of, his name is Ben Harper, he’s a great lyricist and has actually hit a lot of genres of the course of his career. But I like rock and I like alternative rock, I’m not as big of a pop fan and I’m also not a big rap fan.”

Rumor has it you downloaded tik Tok and followed some of our popular Tik Tokers here at Lake Mary… do you watch them regularly?

“Well, I was having a conversation with a couple of young men in the ref room one day and they were telling me how many followers they have and I was like ‘What!’. So I downloaded Tik Tok and my thirteen-year old was like ‘Why do you have Tik Tok on your phone!?’. I said ‘Well, adults can watch Tik Tok too!’ I find it pretty silly, and it’s kind of entertaining to see what gets a lot of followings and what doesn’t. My one pet peeve is making sure that people aren’t using Tik Tok to humiliate other people. I know that is a temptation and it has been a temptation for teenagers as long as I’ve been alive. We have a few students here who have done that; they have posted videos of the ESE students here for the purpose of making people laugh at them, and that’s not cool. But the silly little things and the dancing I think is hilarious, and we have some kids here with such big followings which is really cool.”