"Students, principals switch seats for a day"

"Gayle Saran/staff photosTaylor Pope isn't sure whether everyone at the Primary School knew she was the acting principal on Wednesday. One of her first duties that morning was to e-mail all classrooms announcing her day-long tenure as acting principal. In an interview with The South Whidbey Record, Pope explained why she thought there may have been a lack of communication.The problem is that some teachers don't open their e-mails until after school is out for the day, so I don't think everyone heard first thing in the morning that I was principal for the day, Pope said. However, she was able to correct that later in the day when she spoke to the entire school on the intercom praising them for a well-executed fire drill. It was just like talking on the phone, Pope said, I just told everyone they did a great job on the fire drill.The occasion was the annual event, Principal for a Day, held at both the Primary and Intermediate schools on Wednesday. Taylor Pope, second grade, stepped in for Primary School Principal Bernie Mahar, and Taylor Mock, fourth grade, took over Doug Hale's office at the Intermediate School. Mahar and Hale both became students for the day.Both students enjoyed their day, but some activities were more fun than others, they said. At the Primary School the highlight of Taylor Pope's day was hosting her four best friends -- Alex, Laurie, Bailey and Jessie -- for lunch in her office. We had pizza, chips and apple cider, Taylor said. It was fun being all by ourselves for lunch. But after a long day in the office Pope doesn't see herself selecting school administration as a career.It was OK to be principal for one day, but a little boring. I would rather be a teacher. It's a lot more fun around kids. There is more to do, Pope said.Taylor is the daughter of Teresa and Henry Pope of Freeland.At the Intermediate School, Taylor Mock, son of Pam and Jim Mock of Freeland, fulfilled principal-like duties throughout the day, ranging from the discipline of student-for-the-day Doug Hale to handling a bit of paperwork. Mock explained that he had to suspend Doug Hale's recess when Hale disrupted a class, yelling and flicking the lights on and off. Taylor also patrolled school grounds during recess. I had to make sure there was no fighting, Mock said. When asked what he liked the best about being principal, Mock responded that he liked being in charge of the whole building. It's a big building. He also enjoyed working with and getting to know the staff.I composed a letter to my Mom and Dad and the secretary typed it for me on school letterhead, Taylor said.Other responsibilities included greeting students as they got off buses in the morning and excusing people to recess after they were finished with lunch. The worst part of the day was counting bulletins and putting them in stacks of 25. Mock also had to question all the teachers about whether they would be attending the art show this weekend.I liked going around to all the classes and seeing everyone, he said.Mock's mom supplied treats for the staff in the teachers lounge. Five friends joined Pope for a break during the day.We had a brownie eating contest and played games, he said.Mock is unsure about whether he would ever choose to become a principal.Part of the day, especially the morning, was pretty slow. When there wasn't enough to do, I just spun around in the principal's office chair, Mock said.Taylor Mock and Taylor Pope became principals for the day as a result of their parents' participation in an auction to raise funds for the PTA. "

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