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Principal Tracey Franklin Proud To Be a Walkersville Lion

by Haley Conley

We all know Principal Tracey Franklin as a passionate, caring, and motivational person but what do students and staff think?

Many students helped answer that question. When I asked how students like having Franklin as principal, senior Jack Baroudi said “she’s a very good motivational speaker and she definitely has the desire and poise to run this school.” Senior Joseph Beck said “she’s super passionate about our sports teams here at the school.” Sophomore Valerie Coleman said “good, because she’s involved in things and she’s fun.”

I asked all of these students what impact she made on them. Senior Luke Tharpe said “she motivates you to the best you can and doesn’t let you give up easily.” Coleman said “ she’s motivational for me doing my school work, she motivates me.”

Staff also answered some questions about principle Franklin. I asked What do you like about working with Franklin and digital photography teacher Amy Graunke said “ she has a genuine interest in the students.” Assistant Principal Danny Rumpf said “ She has a lot of passion for children and passion for our school.” Assistant Principal Jason Lininger said “It’s nice to work with someone who has a strong leadership ability and had a very clear idea to what the academics and extracurricular activities need.”

Staff also answered what their favorite memory with Franklin was. Graunke said “watching her cheering football games because she can’t sit still; she has her whole heart in it.” Rumpf said “when her and I and Mr.Lininger had to help the baby ducks make it to the pool last year.” Lininger said “whenever I came in to get my first tailgating shirt and she conspired with the APs to get a name on it that’s not mine. Academically it would be setting up the FCC Collegiate Commons room and watching that program grow.”

I also talked to Franklin and the first question I asked was how she likes being a principal? She said “I love being principal here; it is very challenging sometimes, sometimes you give yourself more to your students vs. your own kids. I love the challenge of job and I feel like this is what I was meant to do as far as teaching. I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to work with the teachers and the students and make an impact on the community and the school. One of my greatest limitations is the funding or the politics of it all. How do you take the restrictions and try to best help kids?”

I then asked her how she likes being at Walkersville vs. other schools? She said “I think every school has its own personality and its own features. I have become very fond of Walkersville because it believes in family values. It’s a school that’s very generational. I love kids here and the diverse backgrounds. I prefer to lead kids and families that love to be a part of the school. So I love it and I mean that truly; it is one of the favorite schools that i’ve worked at.”

I then asked her how it makes her feel when she builds good relationships with students. She said “It’s what drives me, students are the fuel or gasoline to my engine. I truly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a relationship with students. To me that’s what really matters, how can I better impact the students and their lives. I wish I had more ability to make connections. The students are the most important part of my job.”

The last thing I asked was what her favorite memory she has at WHS. She said “one of my favorite memories was getting dumped with a cooler at my first senior picnic. The carpet coming off of the wall only because it was something that had been here for a very long time, it was a new beginning. The gym, media center, and the track. The graduation last year, when the students raised money for a student who lost her mom in a fire. This year, the state championship game. Then academics would be the FCC dual enrollment, watching the kids excel. Seeing the decrease in academic ineligibility and seeing students want to be a part of the school. I am a Lion and I love being a Lion.”

Principal Franklin has made this school, town, and community better. She has taught us to fight for what we want to achieve together, as a team. She has shown what it takes to truly be a Walkersville Lion.