The door is wide open: how do Blazers think Blair can improve?

April 29, 2024, 9:22 p.m. | By Giorgia Toti | 1 month, 3 weeks ago

While saddened that Principal Johnson is retiring, Blazers are excited for change

After 13 years of serving the Blair community, principal Renay Johnson has announced her retirement for the end of this school year. The transition to find a suitable replacement for Johnson will be difficult. Johnson has been a staple of the Blair community, through her large social media presence and advocacy. While no one can truly be the same principal as Johnson, here are some changes Blazers hope to see in the Blair community. 

Prioritizing restorative justice 

“Restorative justice is going to be a big thing next year… as MCPS is considering cutting funding for it… I and a lot of students would like to see a principal who really makes that a priority,” SGA president Cate Sauri says. Restorative justice is extremely important and can affect the futures of many students. 

Encouraging fun activities

“Let's just spice things up. Let's get some more music. They do that sometimes and when they do, I like it,” sophomore Kayla Warren says. More comfortable seating areas for students to relax and unwind, games scattered around Blair Boulevard for students to play and forge new connections, and designated quiet rooms for students who might need a little peace: all of these could help Blair become a more engaging place for students to learn and enjoy themselves. 

Bring doors back! 

“There's not much [bathroom] privacy if I'm being honest, and it's so weird to walk past the bathroom and see guys… They should attempt to [add doors] again and… see how we do with it,” sophomore Sharjae Dugger says. This is the second year that Blair bathrooms have been without doors and many students agree with Dugger: being able to make conversation with someone in the hallway while being in the bathroom is extremely uncomfortable. Bring doors back!

Keeping Blair clean

“I want to see… a cleaner [environment]... because I've noticed that it's been more messy, like [in] the bathrooms… So I'm just hoping to see... improvement [with] school [cleanliness],” sophomore Maria Ramos says. Ramos is not the only student who feels the same way. Sophomore Jaslyne Cruz feels like hygiene in schools has depreciated since the COVID-19 pandemic. “Ever since COVID… many students [have been] sick. Just in general the bathroom just seems dirty and very unsanitary,” Cruz says. 

Similarly, freshman Stella Kang hopes for a principal who helps prevent students from smoking in school bathrooms. “I would like someone who's focusing more on preventing students from vaping, using weed, on school grounds, especially in school bathrooms. It's really disgusting to walk into a bathroom and just be hit with the cloud of smoke,” Kang says. While this may prove to be a difficult task, as Blair has already been working diligently to combat student smoking, many students would appreciate a principal who continues fighting against smoking in schools. 

Throughout all of these voices expressing what they would like to see in a new principal, there are many students who feel as though losing Johnson will be a big loss. “I know that in full county [meetings], [Johnson] talks about how we are a special case—our school is ginormous… She really advocates for us... I am graduating, [but] if I would have to go here next year, I would definitely be kind of nervous,” senior Maggie Crow says. Being a principal is not easy and Johnson has done it well through the COVID-19 pandemic, bomb threats, and severe weather.

As principal, Johnson made Blair a welcoming place of belonging and really wanted to connect with students. “She really wanted to get to know the students… and really wanted the students to know who she was. That link was very important to her,” Roxanne Fus, attendance secretary and senior class co-sponsor, says. Hopefully, Blair's new principal will be able to meet students' expectations and hold up the legacy that Johnson left.

Last updated: April 30, 2024, 10:50 a.m.

Giorgia Toti. Hello! I am Giorgia Toti, a junior at MBHS, and this is my first year as a writer on Silver Chips Online. Along with a love of writing I am a part of Girl Scouts and am finishing my final Gold Award project, a coxswain … More »

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