The climate and culture of Timber Creek has changed drastically during the 2016-2017 school year. Some may say that it is the students. Some may it is the teachers. Many will agree on the fact that ever since Mr. Donnie Bartlett walked into the building, Timber Creek has been a happier place.
As a first year 6A principal and a principal of a 9-12 campus, the amount of stress put on Mr. Bartlett to make a good first impression was tremendous. Bartlett walked in with the drive to make sure he knew what every organization was on campus and what exactly they did.
“It was extremely stressful wanting to make a good impression on everyone. However, with my personality, once I started going and doing it was easy,” said Bartlett. “It’s like second nature for me because I do care about people. Being apart of stuff was not an issue. I believe that’s why I got the job because Timber Creek needs that type of personality in a principal.”
Students will often see Bartlett roaming down Main Hall during the morning and during passing periods high-fiving and hugging students. Students could possibly even hear their name being called by him walking down the hall. However, a good majority of the time students will not have to worry about being trouble – he just wants to say hi.
“I feel as if it is very important for our kids to know who our principal is. I think the presence of the principal is important, so that’s why I’m out in the hallways so often. I have to show that I am here for every single person in this building.”
Bartlett often refers to making Timber Creek the “destination school” of Texas. He believes in making Timber Creek the place that parents want to send their students to. He believes in making it a place that excels in every aspect – Football, Band, Choir, Swim, etc.
“Our yearbook sums up ‘destination school’ in a nutshell. We set the yearbook in Oct. so we do all of this years work, but we get our years theme a month and a half into school. We were at [the lights out pep rally] and we all turn to each other. That to me symbolizes the whole process. We are here for one and other. I want people to move into this community and say, ‘I want to know where the Timber Creek boundaries are, so I can send my child to Timber Creek High School. I want my kid to graduate from this school.’ Whatever program it may be, I want for parents to know that Timber Creek has a good one fit for their child.”
Just with everything else in life, there are flaws. There are improvements that need to be made in everything we do. Bartlett also wants to make sure that Timber Creek excels in the acceptance aspect.
“I want us to be more loving of one and other on this campus. We need to accept people for what they believe in, and that’s something Timber Creek lacks. We are also going to do things to help people struggling with mental health and mental awareness. We aren’t just going to do assemblies because that’s not how it’s going to end. We are going to have an effort to get parents involved in this process and have our teachers trained on how we can help a child that’s in need. We need to have a structure put into place that a teacher can see a student struggling and offer support. We all need to help kids and have a connection with our students. Students need at least one person in this campus that they can connect with.”
The impact Bartlett has made on the school in the first year is tremendous. The students and staff love him. Students and staff frequently tweet about Bartlett, but ill words are never spoken. What high school principal will do their longest “YEAH BOI” for a lunch just for it to go on the morning announcements and even Twitter? Only Mr. Bartlett. He is truly one of a kind. Timber Creek is brighter because of him.
— Michael Otto (@MikeOttonomous) October 23, 2016
i see mr.bartlett too much in the halls to not have a hand shake with him so guess what we did….. made up a handshake
— nev (@NVSTLO) February 10, 2017
With a bright future ahead of Timber Creek with Bartlett as their principal, it is with no doubt that Timber Creek will be the “destination school” of Texas that he hopes for.