Patch Talks: Larry Jones, New Principal at Bryant High School
Patch chats with the new principal at Bryant Alternative High School
Patch sat down with Larry Jones, who just took over as Principal at Bryant Alternative High School this month after Jan McKee, who had been the principal for 14 years, retired.
Jones has been an educator since 1986. He joined Bryant High as a teacher in 1995 and became assistant principal at the school in 2001.
Patch: Why did decide to make the move to becoming a principal?
I always enjoyed working with the students. I felt like in becoming a principal I could have an even greater impact on teachers and students.
Patch: What are some programs that you feel are working well at Bryant High?
We give students extra time to learn. Sometimes they don’t do as well in a traditional school because they have additional responsibilities other then their schoolwork. We offer flexible schedules that allow them to work and attend school.
We also have Project Opportunity, a program for student parents. It teaches them child development skills. We have a National Honor Society, and we are the only alternative school in the area to have one.
I’m also proud that we have a caring and compassionate staff that goes the extra mile to help students.
Patch: What are some programs you are hoping to bring to Bryant?
I hope to eventually implement a music program. Some of our students have talents that aren’t currently being showcased. I think that it will help them deal with their problems in a positive way.
Patch: How do you build rapport with the students?
By being visible in the classroom and showing an interest in their lives. It’s all about the approach that you use with students and showing them and you are open. I also feel like I am a really good listener.
Patch: What is your approach toward discipline?
With the students, I feel like when they come to this school, it’s the start of a new day. They may have had problems in other schools but when they start here, those problems are put behind them and they can start fresh.
Patch: Is it challenging to oversee students that vary so greatly in age and background?
It can be. You have to keep in mind your audience when speaking with a student.
About 52 percent of our population is Hispanic so that can pose a language barrier. However, we have several interpreters at the school, including two teachers, who can help translate.
Patch: What else would you like people to know about Bryant?
Bryant is a community school that is a great place for students and adults. We also have night classes here for adults.