First-day excitement for Noble Central's new principal

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Principal Greg Rollingson speaks to students at the first day of school assembly at Noble Central School.

It’s been some time since Greg Rollingson was in their shoes but it’s likely he had at least one thing in common with many of his students the first day of school at Noble Central School – a case of the butterflies.

Although he’s going into his 10th year of teaching, Tuesday marked his first day as principal of the Nobleford school.

“It might seem weird that someone that is in a principal’s position could be nervous, but I always want to make a positive impact so there are nerves,” said Rollingson in the days leading up to the new school year. “But they are good nerves. They are going back to school nerves and excitement nerves.”

The Palliser Regional Schools teacher is anxious to start things off on a positive note and wants the students to think of him as someone who cares about them, wants to help them have the best educational experience possible and is trying to build their community.

Although Rollingson’s background is in high school education, he got to experience the elementary and junior high grades in his first-year as principal of Champion School this past year. When the opportunity at Noble Central arose to educate students from kindergarten to Grade 12, he jumped at it.

 As a longtime basketball coach Rollingson was familiar with Noble Central, and coming out on the wrong end of the score sheet against them more times than not. He’s looking forward to being on the other end as coach of the boys’ team this season, but acknowledges it’s not all about wins and losses.

“I know the teams I have coached in the past have given me lasting memories and I have seen kids do amazing things on the basketball floor and different arenas of play. We can use that to help our students and athletes become positive citizens when they leave our school,” he said, adding he was always impressed with the respect Nobleford players showed for opponents and represented their school.

Rollingson said he got into education because he likes to see happy children. As such, one of his first priorities will be to establish an attitude and culture where education is fun and students feel safe and comfortable and know they have everyone’s support.

“The more people that are on a student’s side the better off they are going to be, so I am always happy to have students in my office and always happy to be out in the classrooms with kids,” he said.

While he didn’t get the opportunity to meet his students in advance, once Rollingson’s appointment was announced late last school year he got to meet his staff and parent council members and was impressed by both.

Community involvement is a must, he said.

“If we don’t have community support we can’t run the best school possible and we are in the business of making sure the kids have the most positive experience,” he said, adding his door is always open to the people of Nobleford.

Another thing Rollingson is looking forward to is a modernization project - the first major improvements to Noble Central School in about 40 years - aimed at increasing accessibility for people with mobility issues. It will include a second-floor library with access by both a stairwell and elevator, and a new office area on the main level. The project plans are nearing completion and the matter will soon go out to tender.

“What that means for us is we will be in a building that has been so respected and so supported by this community and now we have the chance to add to it,” he said. “There will be some times we have to work around the modernization process but we always try to be flexible, just like we are flexible and supportive of the kids.”