By Thomas Anthony, News Editor
In just her second year at Reynolds, Principal Leslie Alexander has made quite an impact by altering the dismissal structure, reinvigorating the upkeep of the campus and even helping to raise the school grade from a C to an A. Back in October, Alexander was recognized for her efforts as a finalist for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) Principal of the Year award given to the county’s top headmaster from the 81 elementary, middle, high and “non-traditional” schools in the WS/FCS school system.
“The district recognized some of the positive changes and the hard work that everybody has put into Reynolds,” Alexander said. “It wasn’t just about me, it was about the teachers and the students who are here and the progress we’ve made.”
Each year, WS/FCS begins the process for naming the Principal of the Year by taking nominations. Alexander was nominated by several teachers here at Reynolds, who completed an application packet for her about why she was deserving of the honor.
“I was honored by the fact that our teachers felt that I should have been nominated, because it’s important that the people in your building feel that way about you as a principal,” Alexander said.
After the nominations were received, a committee from central office evaluated each application and narrowed the field down to five finalists, who had each distinguished themselves as a strong leader at their respective school.
Joining Alexander as finalists were Dr. Neil Raymer (Meadowlark Elementary School), Dr. Essie McCoy (Philo-Hill Magnet Academy), Brad Craddock (Glenn High School) and Ed Weiss (Mount Tabor High School). Each finalist then had to participate in an hour long interview with the committee, before the final decision was made. Even though Craddock was named as the WS/FCS Principal of the Year, nothing can be taken away from the job Alexander has done at Reynolds in just two years.
“She has added more rules to Reynolds, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it some cases more rules are good,” sophomore David Mittelman said. “Overall, she has influenced Reynolds for the better.”
Senior Marissa Thompson is also a fan of some of the changes Alexander has made at Reynolds, especially the earlier dismissal for seniors.
“Mrs. Alexander has made getting out of school a lot easier,” Thompson said. “The seniors now get out at 3:35, which helps me out quite a bit.”
Being named a finalist for the top principal award in this school district not only meant a lot to Alexander for the efforts that have been made at Reynolds to improve the school, but also for her to be able to represent the success Reynolds is having at the district level.
“RJ Reynolds is the flagship school in our county,” Alexander said. “The history that we have is something to be proud of. I think that our campus is beautiful, our alumni are dedicated and amazing and I love the diversity of our student body.”
Even though Reynolds has made many strong improvements up to this point, Alexander believes there are still ways for the school to become even better.
“We represent our community more accurately than any other high school in our district, so I really want us to be able to achieve success with all of our students,” Alexander said. “Also, I would like to see our students take ownership of the campus and continue to focus on things like responsibility, respect and citizenship. These skills are not tested, but high school is the perfect time to learn how to be the kind of adult that you want to be.”
Photo from WS/FCS Permanent Record