Ms. Ballard takes over at PaperjackWhen Sophie Ballard found out she had a chance of spending a day as the principal of Paperjack Elementary, she immediately knew she wanted to enter the raffle.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
When Sophie Ballard found out she had a chance of spending a day as the principal of Paperjack Elementary, she immediately knew she wanted to enter the raffle.
Ballard, daughter of Mike Ballard, the principal at Paperjack Elementary, entered $4 of her own money into the contest. She also entered $4 in the “Lunch with the Principal” raffle.
Mike Ballard said he was excited his daughter won, but was worried that others might question the fairness of the raffle.
“Sophie entered with her own money for the chance to win and her name was drawn,” he said. “Good for her, she should get a chance too.”
On Thursday, Jan. 10, 10-year-old Sophie took over her duties as principal. Dubbed “Ms. Ballard,” she declared the day a pajama day for students, gave the staff the option of wearing blue jeans to work and awarded the students an extra recess (and assigned her dad recess duty).
“I kind of get to run the school,” she said. “I get to pick what I want, like extra recess or if I want to make any changes.”
The idea for the “Principal for a Day” contest came from the New Richmond Elementary Parents Association, Mike Ballard said. Each of the three elementary schools hosted a student as principal for the day.
“I get to go peek in classrooms and say hi and I got to greet people this morning,” she said.
In Julie Gilbertson’s classroom, Sophie spent some time working with students during their individual study time.
It wasn’t all fun and games for Sophie, she said. She also had to deal with various staff requests, including time off and adjusted recess times.
She wasn’t alone in making the tough decisions; Mike Ballard was always readily available to help, she said.
Just because she was principal for the day didn’t mean she got out of her studies, Mike Ballard said.
Sophie did attend class for reading and math instruction before returning to her principal post in the afternoon to talk to a group of students about improvements that could be made to make the building more “kid-friendly.”