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Principal Jennifer Wilson Reflects On Her First Year At RAHS


Dr. Jennifer Wilson’s inaugural year as Roseville High School’s principal has been challenging and rewarding. She prioritized building connections with students and staff members while also focusing on safety. Wilson’s calm approach and reflective mindset contributed to her effective problem-solving as a principal.

This year’s incidents involving guns at RAHS were among the most challenging for Wilson.  She said, “That’s the biggest challenge, … always keeping safety at the forefront…but [some] things are unexpected.  No one tells you in principal school how to navigate through those types of challenging situations.”  

Wilson explained that student conflicts presented another difficult challenge. She said, “When things happen, and I’m not necessarily in relationships with the student, or whoever is impacted, it seems harder to get through it.” 

Wilson believes that following up with students, having necessary conversations, and “learning about other people’s stories” is crucial to her success. She prioritizes connections not just with the students but also with her staff. These connections help her overcome challenges and difficult situations.  

Wilson noted that when facing challenging situations with upset parents or students, she tries to find a way to mediate and stay calm. “I try not to match the energy…I think it’s important that staff and students can feel like they can trust me and that I will be able to handle the situation… so whether that’s speaking on the intercom, or on the radio, or we’re in the middle of an incident, I really just try to stay calm,” she said.

Wilson values reflection after incidents occur.  She said, “I will spend a lot of time processing through [critical incidents] and talking about what went well and what I’d do differently next time.” 

Despite these challenges, Wilson also experienced joy and success in her first year at RAHS.  Being at the high school has caused Wilson to return to the memories of her own high school experience. She said, “I think about the sports that I played, the athletic competitions that I went to, the events… being able to be a part of those and create those different scenarios, if you will, has been probably my favorite thing.”

Moving forward, Dr. Wilson will continue to focus on improving attendance, credits earned, learning, and graduation. She also hopes to bring more attention to career and college education. She commented that “one area that we can do better is prepare all students for whatever pathway it is after they graduate from high school… how can we set things in place now to help students with what is next?”

Wilson mentioned that the transition into her new job has been a bit difficult.  She said, “It’s been hard for me personally and professionally because change is hard… trying to get us all moving in the same direction… but I also think it’s worth it.”

Wilson shared that while there have been challenges, the school improved attendance and increased learning under her leadership.  She said, “We have fewer tardies, kids share that they mostly feel safe, we have more kids pass classes, and hundreds of fewer kids getting no marks. Our ACT scores went up in every area, I feel like we’re doing the things we set out to do.”

Wilson also noted that the most impactful change has been the increase in students in classes. She said, “The hallways are more empty, and students are in class. We’re looking at having 20,000 fewer unverified absences than last year…I think people understand what the expectations are.”

Wilson recognized that teachers continue to be unwavering pillars of support for their students through the end of the year. She said, “Our staff shows up strong for kids no matter what, I always want to put the humanity in like we are tired but I think everyone is doing their best.”

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Aryana Berhane
Aryana Berhane, Junior Editor
Hello! My name is Aryana Berhane, I'm in ninth grade. I am a junior editor for the Ville Newspaper. Some of my hobbies are reading, boxing, watching Gilmore Girls, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes. I am involved in student council, Black student union, yearbook, and debate. I love to write about important issues that are affecting our community and our world. I'm excited to be a part of our newspaper community. Let's get to writing!

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