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It’s not everyday that 8-year-old Nolan O’Connor dresses in a sharp lavender collared shirt and a tie and patrols the Williamstown Elementary hallways.
Then again, the third grader also is not always in charge of the entire school.
Nolan recently took over the reigns of principal for the day from David Poer after winning the opportunity at the fall festival auction.
“I’m more like the vice principal,” said Nolan, admitting he doesn’t quite have the same powers as a real principal.
Among his responsibilities, Nolan helped supervise the halls and cafeteria, put new messages on the outside marquee and tutored younger students in reading.
“They call him Mr. O’Connor,” Poer said about the other WES students.
Nolan said a principal’s job is to keep the school safe and prevent bullying.
While he may not have had any monumental tasks on his one day sitting in the principal’s chair, Nolan said he still enjoyed helping out.
“The best has been walking in the hallway, talking to people and meeting new teachers and staff,” he said. “They said I was real cute and handsome.”
At least once a year, a student usually gets a chance to step in the principals shoes at WES.
Sometimes, students can earn the chance as a reward while other times they win it at an auction.
This year, Nolan got a bargain by being the top bidder at a measly $30.
“I think it’s great for our kids,” Poer said. “It can be a motivator to strive to work harder. Anything that helps motivate students, I am all for. I think it gives Nolan an opportunity to have a little bit of leadership. It something to look forward to as he gets older. One of these days, this may be something he aspires to do.”
While Nolan said he never dreamt of ever being a teacher or principal, he said that may change after his new experience.
“When I came in the door, (the students) were so excited to see me,” he said. “It feels pretty weird, but I think it’s gone pretty good.”