It’s that time of the year again. Lunches are being packed, binders labeled, and lesson plans prepared. But this year, something is different. We have a new principal. Jamesville-DeWitt High School has had a long and illustrious list of principals worth celebrating, so in honor of Mr. Lawson, let’s take a look back at some of the best J-DHS principals you may have forgotten about.
5. Apil-Sin, Amorite King of the First Dynasty of Babylon, Son of Sabium
Let’s kick it back old school and talk about one of the first J-DHS principals. Way back in the 1750s (BCE, of course), Apil-Sin dropped by J-DHS with his army, and next thing you know, he became the school’s eighth principal! Nice job, Apil!
He quickly made changes, installing Sin-Muballit as his successor. Sin-Muballit wasn’t the only thing he installed, though. If Apil-Sin had never conquered our school, we would never have had the school’s iconic Red Hall. That’s right. Before Apil-Sin, it was painted blue! Apil-Sin’s clever mind quickly noticed that there were two Blue Halls and had his painters change that ASAP. We wouldn’t expect anything less from the son of Sabium!
4. This Guy!
Haha! It’s that guy! Aw, man, I love this guy! Before Mr. Gasparini served his long term, this guy was the principal! Yep! Look at him! Sticking two fingers up with that classic mischievous grin on his beautiful stubbly face. And he’s wearing a sweater! Heck yeah! What an awesome principal!
He did so much stuff for the school. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember any of it, but I definitely think that he was a really good principal! Unfortunately, he was fired after three years for embezzlement and a messy legal battle ensued. Still, what a guy! He’s wearing a sweater!
3. Academy Award Nominated Actor Richard Jenkins
Back in the ‘90s, Academy Award Nominated Actor Richard Jenkins, fresh off his iconic role in Undercover Blues as Frank, became the principal of J-DHS for six years, retiring from the position shortly before his legendary turn in Random Hearts as “Truman Trainor.”
Mr. Jenkins was a great principal, and hosted all sorts of fun events for the school! In 1995, he hosted a screening for the whole school of the film How to Make An American Quilt, the film that featured his unforgettable supporting performance as “Howell Saunders.” He even invited acclaimed actor Peter Horton, his co-star in the 1997 television film Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, to give a lecture to the senior class. Horton politely declined, so instead, Mr. Jenkins got his old pal Kate Nelligan (with whom he acted in 1994’s Wolf) to give the speech instead. The venerated actor known for his supporting role in the 2004 classic Shall We Dance? as “Devine” served a short but successful term as principal that was as exciting as his character “Professor Peter Hoberg” in Josh Radnor’s film Liberal Arts!
2. Gaul Pasparini
Mr. Pasparini served as the interim principal this summer, and boy, did he do a great job! The one thing you first notice is that he can’t possibly be related in any way to the old principal, Mr. Gasparini. Their names are different, and as Mr. Pasparini nervously insists, he’s just wearing a bald cap for fun.
Mr. Pasparini had some pretty radical ideas that made the school board a little wary, like renaming the school Paul Gasparini High School and building a statue in the former principal’s honor. However, he quickly won over the board and the statue began construction before he found out he was being replaced for the upcoming year by Mr. Lawson. Paspo, as the students liked to call him, was beloved by all and everyone will miss his signature high fives.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
I like Ike! We all did. He served for a year in 1952 until a better position came along. Dwight was known for his heroism during the Second World War and that translated well to being a principal because at both jobs he had to dress up fancy.
Among his many reforms and accomplishments, Dwight commissioned the building of Four Corners, constructed the Junior Parking Lot, and, most famously, instituted Hats and Hoodies Friday! Mr. D. Eisenhower was also notable for being the school’s first bald principal. He certainly wasn’t the last.