Olney principal ditches desk for more face time with students

OLNEY, Md. (WJLA) - At Olney Elementary School, most students have been to the principal’s office before class even starts. Well, not the room itself exactly, but a more accessible space.

“We are mobile,” Principal Carla Glawe says. Two years ago, she traded her desk and chair for a metal television cart.

“I have my laptop, walkie-talkie, hallway compliments, I’ve got ‘high fives’,” she says.

From the first bell to the last, you can find her rolling through hallways or speaking in classrooms. She knows almost every student by name, but admits some of the Kindergarten students are tough.

“They’re our newest learners,” she says.

Glawe sees their struggles, hears their accomplishments.

“You get to talk to the kids and find out, 'Hey, I moved up a reading level Mrs. Glawe’,” she says. It’s a notion so infectious, her assistant principal has given up her office, too.

“A lot of it is about being innovative and it’s just like thinking out of the box in terms of how we can be more efficient,” Assistant Principal Cindy Chichester says.

For students it’s a benefit beyond efficiency.

“I feel like I'm a good person,” says Ryan Britschge, a student at the school.

And when you see that reaction, it seems leaving the office behind was her best move.

“We are building relationships with kids,” Glawe says. “That is what I love about being mobile.”