Getting ready for the day’s events, walking into a hulking structure of stone and metal, promenading into an office piled with duty, each one clamoring for more attention and greater emphasis. Every decision provides a dozen outcomes, good or bad, and the stress remains intense as two-thousand different students await leadership and serving.
By the start of the 2019-2020 school year it was highly apparent new leadership had arrived at DSHS: the powerhouse Angela Gamez. She acts as the successor to the prior, much-loved principal, Joe Burns, and as soon as she came to the position did she enact policies that sparked order and outrage alike. She showcases the ability and the drive needed to reform some of the schools most lacking qualities, including the introduction of hall passes and things of the like; she promptly addressed the problems she felt most paramount.
“It’s not what I expected, you think you go into something knowing what to expect and then it never is what you think it is,” Gamez said, laughing. “Knowing all the different responsibilities that come along with it, because I have been here so I know a lot of the students, I know all the teachers, so it’s comfortable.”
Gamez previously worked at the high school, having served as an assistant principal, which has helped her with this job.
“The weight of it [being principal], ultimately it is on you, all the decisions, so it feels heavy because you want to do a good job,” Gamez said. “A lot of the job is the same as an AP to a principal, it’s just the level of responsibility that grows.”
Gamez has spearheaded many of the new changes around the campus, and is very vocal when it comes to hall passes.
“At the end of last year I sent out a survey to all staff saying ‘What would you like to see changed?’” Gamez said. “By and large, they felt like the traffic in the hallways was a safety concern, and they felt like kids need to be pushed into the classroom so that they are learning. The intent was to keep kids learning in the classroom.”
DSHS acts as a very integral part of the Dripping Springs community. Frequent interaction occurs between the community and school, which Gamez addresses with fervor.
“My whole life I knew I wanted to be of service to my community,” Gamez said. “Being a principal allows me to be more of service and to guide the direction of a school in a positive manner.”
As a new principal, one strives to produce a legacy that not only affects their own reputation but that of the community around them.
“I am very much a believer in distributed leadership,” Gamez said. “I want everybody on our campus to feel connected and they can make decisions and have an impact. So when I am gone, if I am here or not, everybody feels empowered to have a say in their education and have a say in how our school community works.”
By Ethan Everman, Staff Writer
Featured Photo by Teagan Krewson