New hires bring fresh perspectives, potential culture change


Dr. White (right) speaks with a member of the staff on Thursday, his first day.

Editorial staff

Staff turnover in recent years has been a well-covered and troubling trend. On a more hopeful note, however, some of the recent additions to the faculty and staff have contributed to positive change in the school community.

New head football coach Derek Hart was hired in December. Replacing former head coach Kevin O’Shea, Hart is the weight room supervisor during the school day. Almost immediately, Hart began to implement his vision for the program. Hoping to eliminate the apathy that plagued the team for years, he has already started various new initiatives to revitalize the program.

Hart began hosting offseason workouts this winter with the new “Breakfast of Champions” moniker and point system. The system rewards players for attending new morning workouts, showing improvement in speed and strength, and having good grades, creating a competition as various “teams” of players compete against each other for the grand prize of a steak dinner. 

The system helps create camaraderie within the program. Hart is also strengthening the link between the middle schools and NC, holding middle school football camps and spending more time attempting to retain middle school players. Overall, Hart comes from a winning tradition in Illinois high school football, so the culture he created at Kankakee High School will be good for NC.

More recently, former principal Dr. Eugene White made his return this week after being named interim principal on Wednesday, following the extension of Evans Branigan III’s leave of absence. Dr. White has conducted multiple interviews with our staff and local media about his plans for the school, and the general consensus is that he will attempt to “clean up” the school community. Although reception among students has been mixed, his reception among the staff has been generally positive. 

Even though Dr. White will have approximately nine weeks as the head of the school, he plans to make an impact by stimulating students to re-focus on their education and personal responsibility. Frequently citing lax dress code enforcement in interviews as an example of the changes he intends to make, we believe Dr. White will bring positive change, hopefully restoring the strong reputation in the Indianapolis area that the school once held. We are eagerly anticipating these changes and are in full support of stricter policies.

Associate principal Brian Davis recently reported at a school board meeting that 14 teachers had left in the last year. Hopefully, all the new additions to replace these losses will be as impactful as Coach Hart and Dr. White.