Sr. Rhetoric, 4th Hour
September 19, 1999

Double Split

    They say that a person with a split personality is trouble, but is it completely true? In some jobs, if you can take on more than one identity, you’ll be much better off. Take Mr. Heatherington, principal of Wheaton North High School, for example. Does he come off as a towering authority figure, an invincible and omniscient being who punishes all? Definitely not—as far as he’s concerned, being principal isn’t about being the stereotypical, Aread memos, sign stuff, and then give someone a detention” kind of guy. He knows that students need guidance, but they need a role model, too. Mr. Heatherington is a fair man who takes on many different roles each day.

    The first, and probably most noticeable, role that Mr. Heatherington assumes is also the most prominent. When Mr. Heatherington is just doing his normal, busy role of school principal, he acts as an authority figure. As a conductor leads his orchestra, so does Mr. Heatherington lead the “citizens” of Wheaton North. Students and faculty alike are all under his direction and follow his rules. Additionally, Mr. Heatherington is a hard-working man who manages to juggle a hectic schedule, which includes holding conferences, returning phone calls, and making appointments, along with a slew of other tasks which further complicate his daily agenda. Sometimes these tasks are as minor as calling down Mitch Burlingame, the school custodian, to repair a spasming Xerox machine; other times, they can be major issues, such as the time Mr. Heatherington had to confront a student who was being constantly disrespectful to his teachers. Despite his frantic schedule, our school principal still manages to get his work done as well as having some time to himself. Mr. Heatherington may have his organization put to the test, but he passes with flying colors.

    Mister Heatherington: mild-mannered school principal by day, an energetic pep rally leader by night! Not quite, really, but nonetheless, another role he assumes is that of a spirited enthusiast: a “cheerleader,” if you will. At pep assemblies, people who see this man practically think that they’ve discovered a new source of energy. This man is a dazzling dynamo of energy, a phenomenal powerhouse of school spirit, a flaming fireball of Falcon pride. An example of his enthusiasm could be the time when, a few years ago, the student council had a raffle. The raffle, which had multiple winners, offered a unique prize: everyone that won, got to throw a pie in someone’s face. Students and faculty members alike volunteered to be pied, and who but Mr. Heatherington was one of the willing recipients of a whipped-cream-pie facial. Our principal is really a good sport; at pep assemblies he always is the one to get up in front of everyone and shout like a sports fan who goes bonkers for his favorite team. More than likely, there’s some overly critical group of people who say that Mr. Heatherington is non compos mentis. Being the kind, fun-loving, and intelligent principal of a fine school, if Mr. Heatherington wants to be enthusiastic, then I say let him!

    Another of the many important roles Mr. Heatherington takes on is that of a role model. He knows that many look up to him and admire him, and Wheaton North’s principal is a fine choice. It is no secret that many kids and teens are easily mesmerized and hypnotized by the world around them. Unfortunately, many fall victim to the bewitching evil that is the sinister and immoral forces of our world. We can be very grateful for people such as Mr. Heatherington; the magnanimous and moral people of this world are one of the few forces with the capability to subdue the evils of the world and stop their influence. Mr. Heatherington is completely aware of the powerful influence he has on others, and we are very lucky to have an upstanding man to oversee our school.

    One of the countless ways in which Mr. Heatherington serves as an influential role model for his students is the very respectful attitude which with he treats everyone. This helps to show to students that when you treat others with respect, they will do likewise unto you. Once in a while, the student comes along who just hasn’t much interest in terms of respecting others, but with people such as Mr. Heatherington around, odds are that the person will eventually change his or her ways. Even the less courteous at North are probably aware that if Mr. Heatherington was never friendly to others, he would not as much of a success as he is. Certainly, he has to be firm sometimes, but he is not insulting. Take, for example, the time Mr. Heatherington had placed a massive order to a supply company. A few weeks and a few phone calls, and nothing had come. Finally, one afternoon, Mr. Heatherington called up the company and demanded to speak to the man in charge. I was nearby in the office, when I happened to overhear Mr. Heatherington shouting. He was furious. After everything, however, he was still polite. Firm, but polite.

    A second way in which Mr. Heatherington sets an example for others is his careful organization and planning. Even if his schedule wasn’t as busy as it is, he would still have a much more stressful job if he was disorganized. This, however, is not a problem; he keeps things in order, takes notes, and of course he has Mrs. Byers to help with the memos and phone calls. As well, he has a very carefully-planned schedule, with each day neatly organized with all staffings and such tasks. His office is clean and well-kept, with every paper in its place. This is quite important, not only for his own sake but for the sake of the students who stop by. When they see his office, they see how presentable it always looks. More than likely students are able to make the direct association with his neatness and his success. Even looking at him on any given day implies his organization; he always wears formal, businesslike suits and carries a leather briefcase. Mr. Heatherington surely inspires others to strive to be organized, as well.

    All in all, Mr. Heatherington can be considered a great achiever in the game of life, partly because he helps others to grow and succeed, too. He takes on roles of a principal, enthusiast, and role model, and excels at each. One doesn’t have to know his life story to know that hard work and outstanding morals have gotten him where he is today. As a principal, he is able to keep things in order; as an enthusiast, he doesn’t fear showing pride in his school, and as a role model, he is a fighter in the crusade against the world’s immoral influences. Everyone should take time to get to know Mr. Heatherington, as well as to simply say to him, “I appreciate all that you do.” OK, so maybe our principal doesn’t really have a dual personality. Though he may have one job, the many positions he fills as a leader each have their own unique qualities. It’s kind of like an actor who plays a dual role… it’s a double split!