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Students take on role of principal at St. Mary's Catholic School

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
Oct. 11, 2012 at 10 p.m.

The brother-sister duo of Charlie and Katie Dickson got a taste of power Thursday as they served as principals for the day at St. Mary's Catholic School in Longview.

Charlie, 10, and Katie, 11, got the privilege after their parents, Rob and Joanie Dickson, were the high bidders on a package at the silent auction portion of the school's recent Wunderfall fundraiser. Amy Allen is the school's principal.

"Doing Mrs. Allen's job is a lot harder than I thought it would be," Katie said. "She has to answer lots and lots of phone calls and go to so many meetings!"

The siblings got to change a few rules and offer some suggestions for handling different situations, but Allen retained veto power.

"We did dance breaks, where we played music on the public address system and everybody had to get up and dance," Katie said. "We also let everybody untuck their shirts and have soda at lunch."

Allen, however, vetoed the siblings' suggestion of no homework.

Charlie said he was enjoying observing the students and teachers in class, including carrying a clipboard with a list to check off for what he was seeing.

"Most of my ideas were shot down," Charlie said. "However, we did get to add recess for the upper school students, who don't usually get it."

The Dicksons also got approval for their suggestion all classes that were on excellent behavior that day could wear their costumes to school on Halloween. Katie was allowed to put her suggestion of a story time for younger students into play on Thursday.

"I really like little kids," Katie said. "So I wanted to do something fun especially for them."

The siblings got a chance to take on a typical principal duty when they intervened in a dispute between two kindergartners who wanted to play with the same toy at the same time.

Overall, the day seemed to have a different effect on Katie than Charlie.

"This has really got me thinking I might want to be a principal when I grow up," she said. "It's a lot of work, but it's very interesting."

Charlie, on the other hand, said he thinks he'd prefer to follow in his father's footsteps and become a doctor.

Allen said the school has had students spend a day as principal in the past, but it's not an annual event.

"We try not to do it too often, because it is sort of disruptive to the school schedule," Allen said. "However, it's always a fun thing for both the students who serve as principal and the other kids."



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