JASON SHEDRICK "stomps" the hallways of Osceola Middle, a one-man loudspeaker urging students to get to class. Shedrick, 43, also makes sure the Seminole school, with 1,243 students this year, runs properly. The Pinellas Administrators Association recently recognized his work, presenting him with the Richard Allen Award given annually to the assistant principal of the year. The award is named in honor of a Pinellas assistant principal who died in 1988 after a school shooting. Times correspondent Sylvia Lim recently spoke with Shedrick, a 13-year veteran.
How does it feel winning the award? Was it a surprise?
My principal (Sue Arsenault) nominated me. ... I was totally surprised when they gave me an award on Aug. 8. I still had food in my mouth. I was at a luncheon at Pinellas Park High. Though I paid attention, I didn't think I was going to win the award so I was going to eat. While I was eating, they said my name and "administrator of the year ..."
You can see in the photo that I was not smiling with my teeth because I still had food in my mouth. ... I am very humbled and very appreciative of the award as well.
What's your typical day like?
I try to get in between 7:30 a.m. (and) 7:45 a.m. I take care of my e-mails, the phone calls I have to return, the paperwork I need to take care of, and send e-mails to teachers. ... Then I take care of building issues, the air conditioning issues — all that needs to be taken care of before school starts. So that's why I get here two hours earlier. I'm also in charge of buses as well. I try to get out there at 8:45 a.m. or so ...
At about 9:25 a.m., I don't care what end of the school you are at, you will hear my big mouth. I'm calling out all sorts of things: "No book bags," "Close off all cell phones." I get kids in class by 9:30 a.m.
Then I come back and check with my clerk, check with my other (assistant principal) and Mrs. Arsenault to see if there are any hot issues we need to deal with. I check in with the deputy at school, too. I get my marching orders, and then I check my e-mails again. Then I go into a few classrooms, and deal with a few parents.
With the parents, we have a few at school every day and we have to find a place for them to volunteer. I help coordinate all of that. I am in charge of the facilities so I do all kinds of drills, like fire drill, duck-and-cover drill, lockdown drills.
Then at 11 o'clock ... we start the sixth grade lunch. We have three lunches so we all take turns doing those lunches. After all lunches are done, it'll be 1:30 p.m. Then I have to go into classes I haven't been into.
By 2 p.m., if there are bus changes, we have to get to the kids and to the parents, so that means my guidance counselor and my clerk and I have to make sure that is taken care of. That puts us almost at 4 o'clock. We start getting ready for buses.
The (final) bell rings at 4:15 p.m. (At the end of the day), we all communicate ... so we can be aware of what will happen tomorrow morning, and we recap what happened today. This is the time I come back to the office, check e-mails, answer and respond to those and answer parents' phone calls.
Most of the time, I end up leaving about 6 to 7 o'clock. If we have an event, then I stay on. It's usually a 10-hour day for me. Then the beauty of it is I get to do it all again the next morning. But I love it.
What are your long-term goals?
My long-term goal is to be a principal of a school in Pinellas County. I love Pinellas County and I want to stay here. ... I believe that I can be a successful, long-standing principal at a school. But I am sure I need more tutelage, a little bit more guidance and seasoning.
I want to work with kids and in a school. I am not a person who would do well outside a school. ... Everybody has a niche, for me, it is the school setting.