There is a new sheriff in town

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By: Dan Nyugen, Kennedale High School Wildcat Times

Make way, Kennedale High School is under some new management this year. Along with the influx of new teachers, counselors, and staff members, comes the school?s newest Principal, Mr. Cagle. {{more: continue … }}
This will be Cagle?s first year working as principal at a high school and his 16th year working in public education. Prior to working here, he has worked as assistant principal and then principal at the Kennedale Junior High, so he is no stranger to this sort of job.
This year has already been off to an interesting start, as students quickly find themselves under the weight of change. There were lots of responses, many negative, but Cagle has responded fairly well to criticism, holding meetings, acknowledging complaints, and trying to address issues.
Cagle is looking to make an impact this year, not only on the school but on the students as well.
?My motivation here is student success, helping young people reach their goals, [and] helping young people do the things that they want to in life?.
He didn?t just star this venture in to public education as a principal, he also taught at Springtown High School before coming to Kennedale.
?When I was a science teacher I really had a passion for providing kids with good science teaching.? Said Cagle, ?I wanted to see them go to college and become engineers. I wanted to see them be good at math, science, and all of those things.?
As principal, it can be quite a tough job to handle with so many different activities, clubs, and classes especially if it?s your first year. That?s why setting goals and standards is very important for someone like Mr. Cagle, who wants to see the best from every student.
?Being my first year as principal, going back on that theme of student success, I want our students to be successful in every program we offer.? Cagle says, ?Our district vision is committed to excellence. I want us to be great at everything we do, whether it?s UIL, band, or choir, if we?re gonna do it, let?s do it well?.
Cagle is very dedicated to seeing that every program strives and succeeds. He is particularly looking to improve academics this year seeing that we go from zero academic distinctions from the state to at least four to seven.

?I want us to win, I want our students to go to state, I want them to have opportunities, I want our classrooms to go on field trips, I want our teachers to be the best, when you ask for goals, I want us to be committed to that vision of excellence?.

As much as some students don?t think too fondly of Cagle, there is no denying that he cares about what the students have to say, whether it be ideas for clubs, or just criticisms, Cagle is determined to improve the students? experience.

?One of our goals is that we want to be student friendly, we want to listen to our students.? Said Cagle, ?We do have some rules but a lot of times there?s reasons for those rules. I?ve had several students approach me with ideas about fundraisers and clubs that they want to start, and as much as I can, I want to be supportive of those ideas?.

Mr. Cagle also makes it apparent that he enjoys seeing what students are up to around the school, as he often pops in and out of classrooms throughout the day.
?My favorite part of my job are the kids. If I?m in this office all day, it?s usually a bad day. My favorite days are when I?m out and about. When I?m out there, I know that I?m seeing kids do good things. I know that I?m seeing kids learn new things, and it?s pretty incredible seeing [them] learn and grow.?
Going from the Junior High to the high school is ?almost a total different environment? according to Cagle.
?You see the difference probably in the age of students. I?ve really enjoyed my time being back here. At the Junior High, the students are so caught in that age where they?re in between being kids and adults, but at the high school the students are starting to act more adult like.?
A completely new environment means a completely new set of students to interact with. Cagle expresses his appreciation for this as well.
?I enjoy it here because I can sit down have a meaningful conversation about goals, and thoughts about complex topics with students.? Said Cagle, ?You just see the maturity at the high school level, that?s the main difference, oh and also the size too?.
As principal, it is Cagle?s priority and passion to make the school a successful, positive learning environment for all wildcats. However which way he decides to reach his goals is not just to benefit himself, but benefit the entire school as a whole including the students.
Dan Nyugen is a senior at Kennedale High School and part of the staff of the Wildcat News, a publication of the Kennedale High School and the ACE program. Wendy Thacker is the faculty sponsor.

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