There are many additions to the Princeton community this year. The new high school building was completed just in time for the opening in the 2014-2015 school year. Princeton High School (PHS) has welcomed new staff members, an improved culture plan, and a shift in administration. Charles Ogdan was promoted to the position of high school building principal.
Ogdan was a US history teacher at Sycamore High School for several years. According to ratemyteachers.com, all of the students that have written reviews about him have raved about him as an instructor. Students say he’s a great teacher and is very helpful and clear on his expectations.
Katie Touvelle, a former student of Ogdan’s at Sycamore, loved Ogdan as a teacher. Touvelle believes that Ogdan truly cared about his students. His tests weren’t extremely hard, and he was easy to talk to and ask questions. Ogdan also sent out postcards to students who got the highest score on a test. Touvelle remembers receiving postcards and still has them stored away somewhere.
“None of my other teachers did that, and I found that to be really cool,” said Touvelle.
Touvelle had Ogdan as her teacher over two years ago, and she still remembers enjoying the class. Ogdan was known for being laid back, but his students were still able to learn a lot in his class.
“I had Ogdan’s class 7th bell, Sycamore’s last period, and he still kept all of us engaged in class,” said Touvelle. “Most people enjoyed having him as a teacher. I couldn’t name anyone that didn’t enjoy him.”
After teaching at Sycamore High School, Ogdan came to PHS for the 2013-2014 school year to work as the tenth grade principal. He frequently used Twitter to post reminders and positive things. Ogdan also tweeted advice during the Ohio Graduation Test testing week to go to bed early and eat a healthy breakfast. He encouraged students to be prepared for their tests. He is very serious about students’ futures and making sure they stay on the path to success.
Mike Wilson, an assistant principal at PHS has worked closely with Ogdan. As a part of the administrative team, Wilson witnessed first-hand how Ogdan was able to bring the staff together in order to have a successful start in the new building.
“Mr. Ogdan was an assistant principal here last year,” said Wilson. “Staff had a lot of confidence in Mr. Ogdan and they trusted him, which is incredibly important for anyone. He earned that trust and that respect because the staff liked the way he operated as an assistant principal. As we’re coming into a new building with new administrative team, he was able to use that trust to make it easier for everyone to transition.”
Ogdan stresses being involved with the students and teachers in the halls and the classrooms. Ogdan is out in the hallway because he believes that’s where the education is. He doesn’t stay in his office.
Ogdan also encouraged students to work on their assignments over the summer by sending out letters and calling home. He frequently communicated with families with information about the first day of school and important dates for students and parents to know. He stressed that students should be involved at school by participating in at least one extracurricular activity.
Ogdan is very grateful for PHS staff and students. He appreciated all of their hard work during the first few weeks of school. Ogdan is excited about the new building and is ready to make sure the school is a safe environment to help students learn.
“He was preparing for the school year as an assistant principal, as I was,” said Wilson. “We had been working together as assistant principals, but as the opening came up for head principal, he was the only logical choice. We needed someone who would be kind of an anchor for everyone. I don’t think he operates much differently than he did when he was an assistant principal. The same work ethic that made him a good assistant principal makes him a good principal.”
Along with a new school building comes a new culture. PHS staff wants a more structured, more formal culture. The staff thinks that having a good understanding of the challenges a teacher has, has helped Ogdan as an administrator, because he hasn’t forgotten how hard those classroom teachers work. He appreciates the work that they do.
“He’s a hands-on principal,” said Wilson. “He has a good work ethic. He really stresses being in the hallway, in the classroom, in the cafeteria. We can’t be dynamic leaders if we aren’t out where the students and teachers are.”
Ogdan is very serious about education, but he also has fun outside of school. Princeton administrators had a dance tournament before their first home game, and Ogdan was the champion, showing that he enjoys the culture as well as the students.
Every morning on the announcements, Ogdan signs off with, “It’s a great day to be a Viking, and an even better day to be an American.” Principal Charles Ogdan is a welcomed addition to PHS. His enthusiasm and experience with education is going to make 2014-2015 a great school year.