Listen and learn

Madison County High School Principal Betty-Jo Wynham and assistant principal Jason Allison listen as staff members and students discuss issues at the school.

New Madison County High School Principal Betty-Jo Wynham is spending her summer listening and learning from community members, staff, parents and students.

Wynham is hosting a series of “Listen and Learn” sessions at the school. The sessions are inspired by something similar hosted at Wynham’s former schools. She previously taught at Eastern View High School in Culpeper and was an assistant principal at Albemarle High School. Now, she’s back to her roots, having graduated as a Mountaineer.

“It’s not odd at all,” Wynham said of being back in the same halls she was in as a high school student. “If anything, it makes me feel more passionate and invested.”

During the “Listen and Learn” sessions, facilitators ask questions aimed at creating conversation among the attendees. The questions cover a variety of topics including administrative expectations, building expectations, ways to partner with the community and more.

“It’s been great,” Wynham said.

During the sessions, facilitators take notes which will then be compiled to identify trends. Already, Wynham and other administrative staff are working to make improvements. A new digital sign will be installed at the high school, some blank spaces inside the building are being painted and new benches are going up near the entrance. There’s also a plan to work with marketing students to redesign the cafeteria space, a project that will have them not only designed something, but then implementing it.

“Whatever we do, we want to make it better for students,” Wynahm said. “We want kids to learn and enjoy coming here and teachers as well.”

The final “Listen and Learn” session will be held July 29 at 9 a.m. in the Madison County High School Cafeteria. Sessions are approximately 45 minutes and are open to all.

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