The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

Through the eyes of an administrator

Wilsonville’s administration is often seen walking around the hallways. What do their jobs entail?
John D’Souza
Atheltic Director Josh Davis and student Jonah Sandall having a good time. Behind them is an artwork titled “Wildcat Way,” which illustrates the many successful clubs and organizations at Wilsonville High School.

When walking through the halls of Wilsonville High School, it won’t take long to spot an administrator roaming the school. They might be talking to students, teachers, or simply monitoring the hallway. 

Wilsonville administrators have lots of behind-the-scenes work to keep the school running as smoothly as possible, as they deal with a variety of school-related issues, including student interactions, teacher meetings, sporting events, club organizations, and much more. How does the administration get it done?

Principal Kelly Schmidt described her job as unique, saying that each day presents new challenges. Administrators tend to the needs of the school community, and every day those tasks vary greatly.

Each administrator oversees different clusters in the school; Shauna Litts and Elise Bradley oversee student interactions, Josh Davis is the athletic director, Tate Olsen manages school curriculum, and Kelly Schmidt, the principal, facilitates teams of staff, students, and parents that work to shape school culture.

New to Wilsonville this year, assistant principal Elise Bradley has integrated into the administration team well. While Bradley was previously an administrative assistant who dealt with specific student interactions, she now works with Mrs. Litts to improve student life and oversee a variety of interactions between teachers, students, and parents throughout the school community.

As the main facilitator for student life on campus, Bradley enjoys the opportunity she has to interact with students throughout the day, saying, “I think human relationships are … an important part of helping people grow, develop, and thrive, despite really big stressors in their lives.”

However, administrators’ work can often be overlooked by students on campus. After all, their work is mostly done away from the public eye, and administration can often seem disconnected and unapproachable from a student’s view. Junior Sean Sype reasoned that the administration is “approachable, but they don’t have long-term solutions.”

Students at Wilsonville High School have expressed frustrations with a perceived lack of discipline for harmful incidents that have taken place. And for the student body, the little things add up; Sype believes that Wilsonville’s admin could budget more responsibly, and provide appropriate consequences when needed.

Considering students’ feelings, Mrs. Schmidt recognized that students don’t see the administration at work, and sometimes, it’s for the best. “Part of my job, I want to be behind the scenes… so [teachers] can have all the support structures in place that you need… to [succeed] in the classroom.”

The duality of administration work and student point of view has long been disputed in the public school setting, but there is one thing in common: administrators and students both show an undying passion for their school and want to see their peers succeed at the highest level.

Principal Schmidt explained that she loves seeing high school students find their passion, saying, “No one’s journey is the same… we want kids to end with a diploma but their pathway[s] to getting there can be very different… and that’s super cool!”

When it comes to student perception of administration, Schmidt was clear. She is a key communicator in the school, but she isn’t the only one. “It’s my voice, but it’s students, it’s research, it’s parents, it’s our Culture and Climate team, it’s our school board… What matters most is that there was a process.”

Even though the principal and administrators will often implement new rules and expectations, those policies aren’t always directly from school administration; school leadership reaches out to students, parents, and credible research to arrive at the best possible solution.

Nonetheless, a middle ground can be reached. Sean Sype believes that if students knew more about what administrators do to reach their conclusions, students would “understand and have more grace [and] want to work with them.”

Schmidt extrapolated that “there’s a time and a place to surface some of these conversations,” but clarified that part of her job is to ensure a “stress-free [and] positive culture.” That could look like a meeting with district staff, or walking through the halls and greeting students throughout the school day.

Wilsonville administrators work hard to ensure a safe school environment for all students, allowing them to thrive and grow into well-rounded individuals. And while the student body and administration may come at odds at times, a shared passion to succeed and support each other bridges students and faculty beyond the classroom.