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Principal Manka: Helping SHS Prosper

Oliva Stiller and Karina Davila, Staff Writers

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The school year of 2016-2017 has been Principal Raymond Manka’s second successful year here at Stamford High School.  Here are five things that have improved significantly now that he’s our principal:

  1. A better school climate: This question is for the senior class and the teachers who had already joined the Black Knight family three years ago: How often did we actually see our former principal, Dr. Valentine? I can only recall seeing her once or twice, not including my freshman orientation. I can definitely say that Mr. Manka doesn’t hide out in his office as much as she did. Our security guards would also admit to the fight rate drastically decreasing, making it a safer climate for everyone.
  2. Technological improvements: Have you guys checked out the media center lately? The outdated Dell computers and long-faded plastic tables have finally been replaced by Google Chromebooks and shiftable nesting tables.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I had class in the computer lab! Let’s not forget the new Wi-Fi system that has been installed over the summer.  Remember when we would sneak around and try to get the “teachers-internet” password?
  3. The building has seen major improvements: Over the summer, a part of the first floor had some drastic improvements. New flooring, elimination of sinks in the classrooms and removal of cabinets lining the wall were some of these improvements.  New vending machines were also placed on the second, sixth and seventh floor.
    The gym floors have been renovated and are now a completely different color than before. To top this all off, the student parking lot, which was once a bumpy mess with crooked lines and made up parking spots, is now a freshly paved and lined full lot with a large amount of parking availability for the students and faculty.
  4. Privileges are back: For the class of 2017, the first two years attending SHS included restrictions, even on simple school events, such as not having a homecoming dance, not being allowed to dress up for Halloween and not being allowed to go outside during school hours, which meant being stuck inside having to trail behind the hallway traffic (especially on the seventh floor bridge). Now that Manka has been principal, we have been rewarded. We had a homecoming dance for the first time since the school year of 2014-15, we were finally able to show our spooky spirit and dress up for Halloween and we can now cut through the outsides of our buildings and make it to class on time.
  5. SHS has a better image in the community: Ever since Manka became principal, the school has seen more of an increasein the number of students attending SHS. Every year there is a projection of how many students are expected to enroll, and this past year more than 100 students enrolled than anticipated. This shows that more people are wanting to come join the SHS family. Principal Manka said he was proud of this. As for safety precautions, this school year a crosswalk was installed in front of the school, making everyone feel safer while crossing the busy streets.

I, for one, can say that we’ve been featured in the newspaper for unfortunate events much less since changes have been made. People in the community are starting to realize our school isn’t so bad, and that Manka works hard and will continue to make improvements for the students and their families.

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Principal Manka: Helping SHS Prosper