WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Stepping out of the chilly October wind and into the bustling hallways of Ben Franklin Elementary, 25-year-old Dylan Jimenez was back in school.
This time, though, things were a bit different.
Jimenez, who is normally a reporter for KFDX, had the opportunity of a lifetime to rule the school during Wichita Falls Independent School District’s “Principal for a Day” on Wednesday morning, October 18, 2023.
“I’m 25 but still six at heart, so I was very happy when I found out I got an elementary school,” Jimenez recounted the moment he was chosen to be principal.
At 8 a.m. on the dot, Jimenez was greeted by a sea of students and staff decked out in orange for National Unity Day, eagerly awaiting their new principal’s arrival.
Responsible as ever, three student ambassadors quickly took charge and guided Jimenez throughout the school. They pointed out their favorite parts of Franklin, including Character Champions, a school-wide board that openly acknowledges acts of kindness, and Ms. Musquiz’s memorable kindergarten class.
Jimenez walked through galleries of students’ artwork, impressed by the high level of creativity and emotional intelligence displayed by the students.
“It was really nice to see the students express their creativity. From affirmations to colorful bios of students on the wall, the teachers let creativity be a part of the students’ education.”
Going back to the basics, it was then time for the principal to head to class. Today’s schedule included fourth-grade math, second-grade Language Arts and more, and in each new classroom Jimenez visited, he gained new friends along the way.
“What stood out to me was student ambassadors walking directly up to me, Mrs. Murdock explaining everything they are learning and then going over their social contract. We say education is always key for students but teaching them how to be respectable people also helps and goes a long way. Franklin Elementary is taking care of both of those areas.”
After tours and introductions galore, the newest principal decided it was time to take a brain break.
Jimenez made his way to the gymnasium, alongside Franklin’s typical principal, Ashley Murdock, and quickly joined the students’ Scooter Soccer game.
“Like I said, I’m six at heart. I try to have fun where I can because kids love it. If I was an educator or if I can be involved in some way with the students, then I’m going to join them.”
While the opposing team, Red Team, emerged victorious, Jimenez said the 15 minutes of physical activity was still a much-needed break.
“I tried my best to help us win, but you can’t win ’em all. It’s nice to take a break from teaching.”
After a successful morning of making new Franklin friends, it was finally time for Jimenez to trade his clipboard for a camera and head back to the news station.
To learn how you can become a Principal for a Day, visit WFISD’s website.