New Principal Brings Changes to WSHS


Mr. Gaffney prepares teachers and staff for the new school new year.

Mackenzie Grzesik and Rachel Casey

The 2017-2018 school year is off to a great start and has brought many changes to the Winter Springs High School campus. Most notable, of course, is our newly instated principal, Mr. Peter Gaffney. Previously, Mr. Gaffney worked as the principal at Keeth Elementary School for eight years. In just the first few weeks of the school year, Gaffney has brought about several changes to student life at Winter Springs, including College Wednesdays, focus on campus safety, and equal support of the three A’s–academics, arts, and athletics.

Although this is Gaffney’s first year as principal at the high school level, in many students’ opinions, he will be a positive influence on Winter Springs.

Senior Michal Anna Fox went to Keeth Elementary, so she has already experienced a school under Gaffney’s direction, and believes he is a great addition to Winter Springs.

“When I was in fourth grade, Mr. Gaffney came to Keeth as the new principal. Immediately he won everyone over, making it his job to know every student and their families. Now that he’s here, he’s brought so much positivity and has already made everyone feel accepted. He’s going to do great things for this school.”

In conjunction with Gaffney’s three A’s, one of his main focuses is to bring back school spirit to the den. In recent years, it has been apparent that students are not as involved in cheering on the bears as they once were.

To accomplish this, Gaffney aims to connect more with the student body during the 2017-2018 school year by trying to learn everyone’s name, attending club meetings and school functions, and simply smiling at students in the hallways.

Gaffney has also implemented “College Wednesdays” to give a chance for students to show their support for their favorite universities every week. Whether students support the college because of academics or athletics, Wednesday presents a chance for students to embrace the prospect of further education and promotes a greater work ethic amongst students as they set their sights on graduation.

This weekly “spirit day” is especially popular among seniors, who are now approaching the dreaded college application process.

Senior Jarod Kaltenbaugh even said he bought two new shirts from his favorite colleges to wear every week. “Wearing my college shirts makes me super excited about the future,” he said.

Although the prospect of change isn’t usually considered popular, with all of Bear Nation on board, the changes implemented this year will hopefully prove beneficial to our school and the years to come.