Getting to know the new Dean

Josh+West+is+excited+to+be+the+new+dean+at+Kaneland.
Josh West is excited to be the new dean at Kaneland.

Josh West is excited to be the new dean at Kaneland.

Photo by Karina Sanchez

Photo by Karina Sanchez

Josh West is excited to be the new dean at Kaneland.

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Q: What are three words used to describe yourself?

A: Energetic, enthusiastic and impatient, I live in the now.

 

Q: What is something you want students to know about you?

A: My door is always open and I am always willing to have a conversation and get your thoughts on anything, but I want you to understand that every choice and mistake comes with a consequence and you just have to take ownership and own it.

 

Q: Why Kaneland?

A: It’s close to home and being from Rockford, Kaneland is appealing just from its reputation of being a quality school, and having quality students with a close community.

 

Q: Have you ever been a dean before?

A: No, I was a P.E teacher in Dekalb and Rockford.

 

Q: What has it been like transitioning to Kaneland as Dean of students?

A: My personal transition from teaching to administration has involved giving up summer time that teachers get, more meetings, more emails, more constant communication, more responsibility. A lot of ups and downs, it’s not always a smooth transition I’m trying to learn.

 

Q: What are some changes you are making this year?

A: It would be a goal to be more of an open campus but just because of the demographics it wouldn’t be possible for this school with the corn fields. For rules, I would like them to accompany more student accountability.

 

Q: Have you ever worked with the Hero system and what do you think about it?

A: I think it serves a purpose. The way it’s designed is pretty intelligent and allows for a faster way to process students who are late and in a sense takes off the embarrassment of walking in late. I like that there are also positive reinforcements.

 

Q: What are some of those positive reinforcements from Hero?

A: We want to do more school wide incentives like dances, gift cards and opportunities to earn positive points that go towards spirit wear.

 

Q: What will be different discipline wise?

A: Students have to take ownership of their attendance, with backpacks being implemented now they can plan ahead and pack for two classes and avoid being late. As for tardies maybe the first two times will be a warning and then after that, there will be further consequences. There are things like parking, homecoming and prom that are privileges: not rights. As long as we are going to class on time and doing what we are supposed to be doing then students can keep those privileges.

 

Q: What overall vibe did you get from the student body?

A: They are energetic, they appear to be eager to learn and excited to be here. I don’t anticipate an abundance of problems.

 

Q: What will you take away from your first week at Kaneland?

A: Kaneland students are proud and they truly are proud to be Knights.

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Getting to know the new Dean