Yorktown Sentry

Loft’s Successful First Year

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Principal Bridget Loft speaking to students at prom

Principal Bridget Loft speaking to students at prom

Lindsey Bowers

Lindsey Bowers

Principal Bridget Loft speaking to students at prom

Anna Trainum, Sentry Staff Reporter

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As the school year wraps up, Principal Bridget Loft’s successful first year comes to an end. Before coming here, Loft was principal of Swanson Middle School. Switching from middle school to high school is definitely challenging, but Loft has quickly become a Patriot. 2018 has undoubtedly been a crazy year with many highs and lows; however, Loft has handled the significant changes during these past few months with ease.

With an eventful first year as principal, there are bound to be many noteworthy moments. Loft reflects on the many memories made this year.

“One [favorite memory] is just standing in the atrium and watching kids move between classes because invariably you are going to see the span of human emotion and how kids’ days are going. It is neat being able to check in with kids. If you see someone who is really down, they are right there, so you can grab them. I have certainly enjoyed attending athletic events, but also going to plays, the art show and concerts. It gives a chance for students to really highlight their passions,” Loft said.

Loft experienced many differences in the switch from middle to high school.

“Silly me, I thought well, I have been a principal before, and [high school] might be a little bigger. It is much bigger. There is much more depth of opportunities and offerings. For example, the middle school sports program is not nearly as huge. There is a bigger staff [here], and students are older, making more consequential decisions,” Loft said.

Loft’s first year as principal doubled as a very emotional and intense year for our school. Although there were many devastating events throughout this school year, Loft successfully instituted an atmosphere of community.

“I am grateful that I was a principal before I became principal here because I had some tools in my tool box. That said, I could not have made it throughout the year without such a strong faculty and staff, a great administrative team and our kids. I think particularly after the loss of our student, I have felt a more coming together and a willingness to stop and think about ‘is what I am saying kind?’ ‘is the homework I am assigning going to send another kid over the edge?’ [The community] is being more thoughtful and reflective of people as humans,” Loft said.

Looking into future years, Loft has various plans for our school.

“I have given a preview about [the changes for] Patriot Period. I think this is an example of the intensity of this year. Out in our nation, school is no longer perceived as a safe place. While safety certainly is a focus… what I want to see is that we continue to allow kids the opportunity to work on assignments, allow kids a chance to decompress and be with their friends and hold in dear what we value about Patriot Period, while making us more safe,” Loft said.

While changes will be made in our school, some elements will stay the same. Yorktown R.O.C.S. (“Respect Others, Community, and Self”) is one of the many things Loft hopes to keep in the coming years.

“I get the sense that while R.O.C.S. is an easy thing to throw out there, I see daily examples of people being kind and respectful to one another. Whatever we are doing, I want to continue to enhance that and build on that. We are a community, and we are there for each other, so I would like to build on that positivity,” Loft said.

As a mother and high school principal, Loft has lots of experience giving advice. She shared some of her most valuable recommendations.

“Be smart. That requires you to really consider the social consequence of saying no and not participating in things that are not healthy for you. I can see how hard it is sometimes when you are faced with a decision that can really screw things up for you and other people. Along with that, you have support here. We will help you if you are struggling with making smart decisions,” Loft said.  

Overall, Loft had a successful first year as principal here. Although there were many tough moments throughout the year, she made her supportive presence known. We look forward to the many years to come with Loft as principal.

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Loft’s Successful First Year