Rebranding Zachary High

Maddy Snyder and Alyvia Pierson

From preparing students for college to upgrading the outdated dress code, Zachary High’s new administration is keeping up with the times.

After a challenging post-pandemic year, Mrs. Lindsey Spence stepped up as Zachary High School’s new principal. Mrs. Spence is a twenty-one-year veteran in the education field, serving as the principal of the Freshman Academy for the last six years. Her first order of business was to address the dress code: “… [this year] students can have facial hair… tattoos can be visible as long as they are appropriate… and earrings are acceptable for males and females.” 

While the new dress code promotes an open-minded, student-centered learning environment, the prior codes were old-fashioned and conservative… something Mrs. Spence wanted to change.

At the end of the day, what are we here for? We’re here to educate our students. We are here to make sure they are successful later in life.

— Mrs. Spence

Trivial matters such as facial hair, visible tattoos, and earrings have no impact a student’s education. The choice to allow everyone to wear earrings “came up because of transgender issues,” said Mrs. Spence, “And does that really make a difference in the education of the student? We can teach just fine if you have pierced ears; it doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or boy.”  The new codes are a huge step toward creating an impartial and comfortable educational setting for all students.  

Another impact of our new leadership is her targeted safety for all persons on campus. The tragic shooting at Uvalde has allowed us to see how important it is for every school to prioritize the safety of its members. “We talked about the school shooting in Texas and what we can do on our end to make sure our students are safe,” said Mrs. Spence. For example, “We must have our classrooms locked, but it’s also making sure buildings are locked [so] someone can’t walk on campus,” she elaborated, “we have to have a way to screen who is coming in.” 

On a brighter note, Mrs. Spence hopes to return to relatively normal activities around school after two years of an ongoing COVID battle. “It’s been a couple of years [since] we’ve [participated in] our normal traditions like homecoming dance and homecoming parade… because of COVID,” explained Mrs. Spence, “We are very excited about getting back to some of those items.” Students can expect to return to old and beloved activities this school year. 

Accompanying Mrs. Spence in her role as administrator is Mrs. Erica Henry (12th grade), Mr. Jermey Roussel (11th grade), Mr. Delwyn Daigre (10th grade), Dr. Jesseca Johnson (9th grade), and Mr. Chris Carrier and Mr. Jonathan McClinton as Deans of Students of the Freshman Academy and the upperclassmen respectively.  

Echoing Mrs. Spence’s agenda for the new school year, Mrs. Henry is expecting “… a great academic year along with lots of fun and exciting activities along the way.” She’s been in the education field for 26 years now and encourages “… students and faculty to strive for excellence.” In addition, Mrs. Henry is looking forward to working with the new administrative team and making memories with the class of 2023 as she spearheads them toward graduation.  

With 10 years of school administrative experience, Mr. Jeremy Roussel has big plans for Zachary High: My biggest hope for Zachary High is to improve College and Career readiness for all scholars across grade levels.” Furthermore, Mr. Roussel hopes to grow programs to support students and allow them to earn college credit, career credentials, and financial aid by the time graduation arrives. Along with his ambitions to improve the school, Mr. Roussel is “… looking forward to the culture of joy and excellence Zachary is known for, whether it be academically or athletically.” 

Dr. Jesseca Johnson, a former Zachary High School English teacher, is replacing Mrs. Spence as the leader of Freshman Academy.  In her efforts to create a welcoming and safe space for students, Dr. Johnson wants, “everyone to know [she sees] them, and [she supports] them when they’re right! And when they’re wrong, [she offers] grace and guidance.” Dr. Johnson expects everyone, “to do their part to meet and exceed academic, behavioral, and personal goals.” As far as extracurriculars, she is looking forward to the surpluses of ART programs, community service, and athletic events. 

With high expectations for the school year, Coach Carrier, “… want[s] everyone to do their best… [and] leave a lasting/good impression [on] staff, coaches, teachers and administrators.” Additionally, he is looking forward to, “…seeing the kids that started as freshman graduate in May… all of them.” 

It is safe to safe that the new team of administrators share Mrs. Spence’s vision for the school year – a safe, educational, and welcoming place for all to succeed. Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year.