Scheffel’s New Role

Lucia Zettler, Website and Photo Editor

This year, Salida High School parted with former Dean of Students Cory Scheffel so he could pursue a new path in his career: Longfellow Elementary School principal. Sheffel has been enjoying his new job, and he remarked on the stark differences between elementary school and high school safety.

“They (elementary schoolers) are just way more unpredictable, so it feels like I’m always trying to keep everyone safe and happy,” Scheffel explained as he supervised the drop off circle.  

A big part of Scheffel’s job is regulating the students and helping to solve their problems. He helps exercise the ROAR (respect, ownership, always safe and responsible) program that uses restorative practices to work with kids. 

“Yesterday I had a group of fourth grade boys who had an issue during soccer, so today we’re flip flopping their lunch and recess, and they’re gonna be referees for the third graders so they can step outside the game and get a sense of what it’s like dealing with all this conflict that happens,” Scheffel said. 

The main purpose of the ROAR system is to help students learn and to have behavioral control be less consequence based and more focused on fixing the problem. Since Scheffel has stepped in as principal, he hasn’t changed a whole lot.

“If you’re wise when going into a principal’s position, you ease in so we’ve kept a lot the same, and we’re just doing micro adjustments. Constant improvement is the culture I’m trying to get us to,” Scheffel said. 

 He has also started the trusted adult program, which is a group of parents that help out on the playground. The biggest difference Scheffel has seen in students is their presentness, as most children have never had the distraction of phones. Moving from the high school to the elementary school has been a big step for Scheffel. Being principal calls for greater responsibility than being dean of students, and it involves more challenging things like parent communication and staff evaluations. One of the biggest struggles has been changing the people he works with. 

“In every job I’ve changed since I’ve been in education, the biggest thing I’ve missed is the people. I had a lot of friendships with staff and students and now I don’t get to see those people, but it’s a whole new world of friends that I get to connect with,” Scheffel said. 

He is enjoying his new job at LES and is excited to be “transitioning back into his elementary self.” He thinks he will thrive in this new environment, and the students and staff at SHS agree. The community is looking forward to seeing how he grows in his new role as LES principal.