On Nov. 17, Chanler Buck, the assistant principal at Powell Middle School, ran to the gymnasium. He was expecting to address an emergency, but when he got there students and staff were cheering and …
On Nov. 17, Chanler Buck, the assistant principal at Powell Middle School, ran to the gymnasium. He was expecting to address an emergency, but when he got there students and staff were cheering and waving posters with his face on them.
The Powell Middle School community needed an excuse to get Buck to his own assembly; it's become a tradition at the middle school to surprise staff with an assembly when they receive district or state wide accolades. This particular assembly was called to announce the fact that Buck was named the 2023 Wyoming Assistant Principal of the Year by the Wyoming Association of Secondary School Principals and the national association.
With the attention on him, Buck used the opportunity to express his gratitude and highlight the students and staff.
“Recognitions are nice, but I think this is a nice short opportunity for us to focus back on you and say thank you for making this place what it is each and every day,” Buck said during the assembly. “You guys come from special families and you reflect good values and you’re just genuinely great kids to be around each and every day.”
Buck also thanked the school’s staff for their support and “willingness to do what’s best.”
Relationships are the most important part of Buck’s role as assistant principal. He said kids and staff alike make mistakes and it’s not always about discipline, “it’s about taking on life’s challenges each day, together.”
It’s important to balance relationships with family, staff and kids and there’s always work to be done to maintain this balance, he said.
“Chanler relies heavily on his strong relationships with both the students as well as the parents to help these young children strive to make choices that are more appropriate in the future,” Principal Kyle Rohrer wrote in his recommendation letter. “... He also has great relationships with the the staff because they know he is there to support them and is willing to go above-and-beyond to ensure their needs are met.”
The principal and assistant principal have a relationship both in and out of school where he has received leadership and guidance both as a friend and a professional, Buck said during his speech at the assembly.
“We just have a lot of similar values and character and just care for people, it’s been good working alongside (him) and through some of the trials and celebrations that you get in this position,” Buck said.
He stepped into the role of assistant principal and activities director in 2018, but it wasn’t always the plan, he said. The position was open and Buck did not see him and his family leaving Powell (he still doesn’t). Being in a district where job opportunities are far and few between, he decided to take the chance.
“I’m very grateful that I did. I still miss the classroom, I still miss coaching. I don’t think that ever goes away,” Buck said. “I think a lot of administrators that have got that past and that experience could probably say the same … but there’s a lot to gain in this position too, so it’s been very, very fulfilling work.”
The job is never done and each year presents its own goals and challenges, he said. But in this district it’s important to continue doing “a lot of the same, just a little bit better, it’s how you stay on top.”
“These recognitions are nice … it’s also a good opportunity to reflect on again, how grateful I am to be here and what a privilege it is to be in this position,” Buck said.