McPhatter fulfilling his calling as a mentor to all students

Halee Rhoades, NDN Press

Traditions Portraits
Brett McPhatter is an Assistant Principal for 9th grade (N-Z) and 10th grade at PN-G.

This week is National Assistant Principals Week, a week dedicated to “honor and recognize the contributions of assistant principals to the success of students in schools across the United States,” according to the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

For the rest of this week, we’d like to take a break from our #NDNSatHOME series and focus on our own APs, who work hard every day to help change lives and lead by example — and make us #PNGproud.

For our second AP, NDN Press’ Halee Rhoades asked these questions to Mr. Brett McPhatter.

Q: What do you think is the most important role as an assistant principal does for a school?
A: I believe it’s building genuine relationships with all stakeholders in the students educational setting. Students need to feel like they’re supported and being heard, even when they may be sent down to the office. This will go along way with reducing the unwanted visits that we may share and keep them in the classroom.  Parents need to have trust that their student is being treated fairly and that there is great communication between them and the school. Teachers need to know that the APs are here to support them with student discipline; however, we also strive to maintain great relationships in regards to communication, leadership and other needs as well.

Q: What are all of the responsibilities that come with being an assistant principal?
A: Leadership and mentor roles, student discipline, extracurricular duty, lunch duty, attendance, parent/staff/student conferences, textbooks, truancy plans, teacher observations, daily walkthroughs, etc…

Q: What(or who) made you want to become an assistant principal? 
A: I started my career like many other APs, one with a dream of becoming an athletic director/head football coach. However, shortly after coming to PN-G in 2012, my goals changed into wanting to serve the needs of students who didn’t have athletics to fall back on. I truly feel that it’s my calling to serve our district as a mentor to all students.

Q: What is the toughest challenge you have faced before as an assistant principal? 
A: As per any job, there will always be tough decisions and challenges that arise. I’m not going to name any one specific challenge, but I  will say that each challenge is met with an open mindset and no pre judgements made. This will allow me to collaborate with my fellow administrators as needed, make all of the appropriate contacts and ultimately make the best decisions for all of the parties involved.

Q: How have you adapted to your job now with the ongoing pandemic?
A: I’ve embraced it! Our community and school district has once again stood out and showed why PNGISD is the best district in the universe. All parties are in this together and working hard throughout this new pandemic experience. It’s my job to be there for our students, staff and parents in anyway that I can be. I believe that all of us will be more prepared for anything that comes our way in the future as well. This entire community, especially the students, have experienced adversity to the fullest this school year. It will without a doubt work towards their benefit in the long run.

Q: If you had one message for the students right now, what would it be?

P rayers sent to all of you.
N obody is in this alone and we’ll
G et through this together.

I miss seeing your faces and hearing all of the
N oise during lunch
D uty with Officer Nichols.
I ndivdually you’ll overcome many obstacles
A nd will be better leaders in the future.
N ever give up & I can’t wait to see you again.
S calp’em

Q: If you had one message for the staff right now, what would it be?
A: I pray that each of you are well and safe. Please continue doing great things for our students, spend time with your families and try to stay as active as can right now. If anyone needs anything, then please don’t hesitate to ask me. Stay strong, safe and Scalp’ Em!!

National Assistant Principals Week is April 6–10, 2020. #APWeek20 #PNGproud #NDNPress #PowWow