Griffith joins Freedom Middle School staff as Dean of Students

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Sara Meyer

Mr. Griffith sits working in his new office on April 26.

Sara Meyer, Copy Editor

Mr. Jeff Griffith took over the position as Dean of Students on April 6, as the previous one, Mr. John Capehart, is now the Freedom Elementary School principal.  

The Dean of Students is in charge of student discipline, to put it simply. They work with the counselor closely to help students with social emotional issues and provide extra academic support to students to need it. Social emotional support can affect students’ academics and behaviors, so teachers focus more on what can be done in the classroom to support it and how everyone can work together as a grade level. 

The previous staff members that had taken up the position as dean of students have all since become principals of either the middle or elementary school. Mr. Ryan Smith became the middle school principal five years ago, after spending a year and a half as Dean of Students, and another year and a half as assistant principal in the high school. Mrs. Emily Mather, another previous Dean of Students, was the elementary principal until Capehart took over the position in February.

Though the position has evolved slightly over the years, it still is focused around the same goals. Both Griffith and Smith said they took the position to help prepare themselves for the responsibility of becoming a principal. When asked if the position prepared him to be a principal, Smith said, “Yes, the position is a nice segway into administration, gets you proactively working with students, parents, and staff members. It is a great step in becoming a principal.”

For the past seven years, Griffith has been teaching a history class at the high school. He also was                 a special education teacher for two years, and worked in Ohio before coming to Freedom. After serving on a committee with Dr. Jeff Fuller, prior Freedom Area School District superintendent, he thought about taking on a different role and is currently finishing up his last class to become a principal.