ANDERSON, Ind. —
So our job is to make sure that they have the skill sets they need to go on. Go on to college, military, vocational. I don’t care what it is, but you’ve got to go on. I want people to go with their hearts. My daughter is a great example. She went into cosmetology and thought I would be upset. I wasn’t upset in the least because I believe that everyone’s got a different passion.
THB: What do you believe it takes to be a good administrator and how do you approach the job?
Thompson: I believe that to be a good administrator I have to be a servant leader. And what I mean by that is my job is to make sure that the teachers do their jobs. By providing them resources. By providing them tools. By staying abreast of anything new out there that may be beneficial for students.
My job is to be supportive of them, to help them anyway I can. But just as important, my job is to be a cheerleader for the students and to make sure they know that we care about them, and that we will do anything we can for them. And I think that is what an administrator should do. I don’t think my job is to be a dictator when it comes to discipline. That’s what I have assistants to do. My job is to develop relationships in the community. That’s the third part of it; to develop those relationships so we can all work together in helping raise these kids, young adults. I guess the fourth would be that I believe in treating students as young adults.
THB: What is it about Anderson that attracted you to the job?
Thompson: The staff and students. And there is a lot of history. Incredible history. ... I went to Lafayette Jeff (Lafayette Jefferson High School). We were a part of the NCC (North Central Conference) so the NCC means a lot to me, too — the tradition behind the conference. I just see so many great things going on. The potential here, I think, is endless. I think the mayor is doing a lot of great things to attract business. But if it says the schools are ‘D’ or ‘F’ schools (as determined by the Indiana Department of Education), how is that going to attract people? So we have to do our job and get those scores up. But we can’t do any of that until we get the behavior parameter set. But that was my main attraction. The history, the faculty being very, very strong and then the kids’ spirit. Those three things.