The hallways of Webster City High School are filled with commotion on the Friday preceding Christmas break. Finals are a busy time; students cleared by their parents coming and going as testing dictates. The scheduling is designed to replicate university experience and accommodate upperclassmen taking courses at nearby Iowa Central Community College. Second year administrator Troy Smock introduced himself as he chatted with students lounging on a plush green sofa just hours before the doors closed on 2013.
Assistant Principal Smock came to Webster City last school year after 10 years teaching physical education at Center Point Urbana. He jumped at the chance for his first administrative role and spoke about new responsibilities: leading 500 students opposed to 25 presenting obvious challenges. Ever the leader, he downplays his significance in the operation, heaping praise on staff. Besides, Smock says he’s better known as the baseball coach in town.
Smock enjoys the flexibility of his new role, one which allows him to reach more students than he previously could. The most satisfying part of his job, according to Smock, is when he’s able to see a student graduate who may not have made the best choices in the past. Guiding teenagers toward good decisions is his major contribution in the community.
“Our staff works very hard. There are questions that need answered and require a lot of teamwork,” Smock says. “We work together.”
The Luther College graduate looks forward to new educational tools available to staff in 2014. Six weeks ago, iPads were introduced district wide; the logistics involved with rolling out 1,700 tablets caused a few bumps in the road. As the staff becomes more comfortable, Smock anticipates the technology will become a great asset.
“The iPad hasn’t been on the front lines like it will be second semester,” he says. “We’re really excited about that.”
Smock has heard concerns about the iPad and potential cyber-bullying. While bullying is always troubling, the assistant principal believes in the student body and its collective accountability.
“The kids are pretty responsible,” he says. “It’s kind of the world we live in.”