New principal hosts ice cream social

Paddock converses with students, families

Principal+LaNisha+Paddock+socializes+with+students+at+the+ice+cream+social+Aug.+24.+The+event+took+place+outside+of+the+cafeteria.

Crystal Diaz

Principal LaNisha Paddock socializes with students at the ice cream social Aug. 24. The event took place outside of the cafeteria.

Andrea Melear and Molly Schochet

Students gathered under the tarp, eating ice cream, in line to speak with principal LaNisha Paddock. According to Paddock, the social was a way of getting a perspective for the beginning of the year. 

“I feel like food is love so we have to give, that’s why we have the ice cream so that we can share and celebrate together,” Paddock said. “It’s really just about building community and getting to know the folks that I am going to support and work with.”

The ice cream social was held to give an opportunity to families and students to engage with Paddock and to be able to build a connection within the school Aug. 24. Assistant principal Jessica Busse said the environment created a comfortable space for students and families to meet Paddock before the start of the year.

“This was principal Paddock’s decision,” Busse said. “She wanted to get a chance to meet everybody in an informal way that was not stressful and kind of just fun.”

After speaking with Paddock, senior Anna McCarthy said she looks forward to seeing what  Paddock accomplishes at Park. 

“We had a really good conversation (and) I’m really glad she’s our principal,” McCarthy said. “She’s a big part of the change we needed here.”

Paddock said after being in hybrid learning and online for most of last year, she is eager to have a school year with a sense of normalcy. 

“I am super excited to be here,” Paddock said. “I think it’s going to be a really great school year and I am just looking forward to starting it off in person.”

Junior Hera Roush said she decided to come to the ice cream social to meet Paddock since she too is new to Park.  

“She seemed very nice and helpful, like she wanted to do this,” Roush said. “She seems like she knows what she’s doing.”

I feel like food is love so we have to give, that’s why we have the ice cream so that we can share and celebrate together.”

— LaNisha Paddock

According to McCarthy, she is enthusiastic in seeing Paddock as the principal and the change she brings to Park. 

“She’s bringing in a new perspective and just a set of fresh eyes,” McCarthy said. “I think she’s really excited and ready to be a principal.”

As the beginning of the year approaches, Paddock said teachers are using this time to prepare and to interact with incoming students. 

“Teachers are getting ready for the comeback but we’re doing a lot of planning,” Paddock said. “This is our time to just be with students, celebrate and learn from each other.”