Elizabeth Aaron, who will become principal of Columbia High School this summer, spoke to Essex County Place about her plans for the 2014-15 school year, and about the current school year. Aaron is currently in her first year as an assistant principal at the Maplewood high school.
Aaron, a 16 year resident of Maplewood, has children who are students at Clinton Elementary School.
“I love Columbia High School”, said Aaron, “the students have been really welcoming, the teachers are extremely smart, and parents, students, and teachers have been really open”.
When asked about what problems she feels exist in the school, Aaron responded “I don't necessarily see problems as much as I see opportunities”.
Aaron said that she would like to improve the lunch items which are served at the school. “There are not enough fruits and vegetables being served”, Aaron said.
Regarding the opinion piece by Jay Mathews published in the Washington Post last month highlighting a CHS parent’s claim that his daughter was not allowed to take an AP (Advanced Placement) class because of her race, Aaron said, “I’m frustrated that it is not grounded in fact and is not comprehensive. It shows a very small slice of a very big picture”. Aaron went on to say that “every good school cares about opening AP courses to all students, including Columbia High School”. Aaron added “I think we can definitely still look at what we teach and what we need to improve upon, so that we are helping every student every day”
According to Aaron, “the more engaged parents are, the better their children tend to do in school. This year we've done a pretty good job of troubleshooting and problem solving”.
Aaron will be replacing Interim Principal Kirk E. Smith, who became principal after the sudden retirement of Dr. Lovie Lilly in Summer 2013.