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Principal Srithai Restarts Student Open Forum

Asst.+Principal+Ryan+Patti%2C+Athletic+Director+Ryan+Peters+and+Principal+Tony+Srithai+met+with+students+Wednesday+for+this+year%27s+first+open+forum.+Photo+by+Gabriela+Covolan+Costa
Asst. Principal Ryan Patti, Athletic Director Ryan Peters and Principal Tony Srithai met with students Wednesday for this year's first open forum. Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa

Asst. Principal Ryan Patti, Athletic Director Ryan Peters and Principal Tony Srithai met with students Wednesday for this year's first open forum. Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa

Asst. Principal Ryan Patti, Athletic Director Ryan Peters and Principal Tony Srithai met with students Wednesday for this year's first open forum. Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa

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Principal Tony Srithai and his administrative team held this year’s first student open forum after school on Wednesday, Sept. 13 in the Bistro.

The forum provides an opportunity for students to share their questions, concerns and thoughts on life at BHS.

Approximately 20 students attended, eager to share their thoughts and concerns with Srithai as well as Athletic Director Ryan Peters and Assistant Principal Ryan Patti.

“It’s open to all BHS students, and we [administrators] want to spend 30 minutes with the students in the Bistro… very informal… just an opportunity for students to come and share what is on their mind and ask us questions,” Srithai said. “So this way we are not making decisions that are going to affect students’ lives without consulting them first.”

“We are planning to make this every month” Patti said “It’s really important to us to listen to students.”

Since he was hired last spring, Srithai has been busy getting to know the Beachwood community.

“It has been two very busy and exciting months,” he told The Beachcomber in August. “I took the first month and a half to get to know Beachwood, the staff, family members and a handful of students. Then I realized it was almost August and it was time to prepare for the new year.”

Srithai has a number of different goals for the years ahead.

“One of my first goals is to learn the culture in Beachwood, the students, the teachers, the families and with this new knowledge, to work on the school,” Srithai said.

As the third principal in four years, Srithai knows that there will be issues to address.

“[Because I’m new, leadership] will involve a very delicate balance of an eagerness to take the ship and move forward and tempering that with the understanding that students and the faculty will want an opportunity to get to know me before moving forward with my plans,” Srithai said.

I’m never comfortable just sitting behind my desk. I’m hungry for the opportunity to enter the classrooms and talk with students.”

— Principal Tony Srithai

“I don’t intend to come in and make any broad changes,” he added. “There are really strong things already in place.”

When he was interviewed in May by The Beachcomber, Mr. Srithai said he wanted to be as visible as possible and connect with the students.

Clearly the student open forum is in line with this goal.

“I’m never comfortable just sitting behind my desk,” Srithai said. “I’m hungry for the opportunity to enter the classrooms and talk with students.”

“I try to spend as little time on the office as possible,” he added. “I will get into classrooms, sporting events and extracurricular activities.”

Srithai also thinks that connecting with students outside of academics is very important.

“One of the things I really wanted to do was to learn as many students names as possible, and that’s still a goal of mine,” Srithai said.

He seems to be a consensus builder. He’s very interested to know if the decisions he’s going to make are going to affect anyone in a negative manner, and he has a lot of ideas that hopefully will work here in Beachwood.”

— Student Activities Director Craig Alexander

Senior Lily Steiger met with Srithai the first time on the meet your principal event in August.

He asked me multiple questions to get to know me, and he really made an effort to remember my name”

Srithai wants to make sure all his decisions are student-centered.

“I view my role as one of support … All decisions are student based, [which] means I spend a lot of time [working directly] with teachers and staff,” Srithai said. “I wake up in the mornings thinking of ways to make a teacher’s job easier.”

Student Activities Coordinator Craig Alexander believes Mr. Srithai is going to bring an interesting perspective to Beachwood.

“He seems to be a consensus builder,” Alexander said. “He’s very interested to know if the decisions he’s going to make are going to affect anyone in a negative manner, and he has a lot of ideas that hopefully will work here in Beachwood.”

 

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Principal Srithai Restarts Student Open Forum