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Mansfield Magazine

Timberview Principal and Student Swap Places for a Day

Mar 23, 2015 02:34PM ● By Kevin

Senior Karla Camacho and Timberview principal Derrell Douglas on a normal school day. Photo courtesy of Mansfield ISD.

They say if you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you’ll understand their perspective better. That adage became a stark reality to Timberview High School principal Derrell Douglas and senior Karla Camacho.

The two made the principal-student swap as part of “Douglas Switch Day”—just one of the many fundraising events during Timberview’s “Helping Others Thru Giving” (H.O.G.) week.

Camacho paid to have her ticket in the raffle to become the school’s top administrator for one day and won the big prize. In return, Principal Douglas spent the day attending all the classes in Camacho’s packed schedule.

The experience can be summed up by one word: enlightening.

Douglas, who dressed in full "student" gear for the occasion, said he has a better understanding of how much students go through every day—educationally and socially.

“It was a lot of fun, but still challenging,“ said Douglas. “Karla is an involved student, and I had no idea how hard it was to get from one class to the other on time. I also had to figure out where I was going to sit in the cafeteria for lunch and who would talk to me.”

Camacho and Douglas on "Douglas Switch Day." Photo courtesy of Mansfield ISD.

Camacho noted that she didn’t realize how much administrators have to manage on a daily basis.

“I observed classrooms, but I also noticed how much happens in the office every day,” said Camacho. “They have to deal with budgets, phone calls, and various requests, and they handle it so smoothly. I have a lot of respect for them after seeing that.”

She added that she is now considering becoming an administrator in education after she graduates college.

This is the fifth year Timberview has held its “Douglas Switch Day.” Principal Douglas said he likes it because it helps break barriers in stereotypes.

“A lot of the students think administrators are just trying to find ways to punish them. We don’t want to do that at all. And as an administrator, I see how much we expect out of our students. They work hard,” said Douglas.

Special to Mansfield Magazine, as originally appeared on Mansfield ISD's blog. For the original story, click here.

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