Using Food to Fix Triton

Students and staff having lunch together


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This year’s new principal, Mr. Patrick Kelley, proposed that students and staff discuss the potential issues of Triton High School, over lunch.

    UNICEF, an organization that deals with children’s well-being, states that, “A great teacher dedicates him/herself to the job.” Triton students should be able to voice whether or not their teacher is meeting standards like these. Without the student’s feedback, the administration would not know what to change and improve on. 

    Students, teachers, and administrators gathered around an oval table in a room next to the library with their lunches and a plate of cookies. Lunch is usually a time for students to get away from teachers, but now they were sitting right next to them as they ate. The eating continued as they all discussed the issues and possible resolutions involving Triton High School.

 “I enjoyed the debate and thought that if the school actually acts on the suggested topics, within reason, then it was a success.” Said Derek Cotter, a Junior at Triton High School, “If they do nothing with it then it was a waste of time.” Cotter also said that he would definitely participate in the lunch again if he had the chance and recommends it to anyone who has valid suggestions for change at Triton. He also said that he was picked by his teachers to participate in the lunch because he often expresses his opinions during class.

    In the room where the diners were meeting, there were large papers on the wall with questions written on them. These questions included, “What is something you wish our faculty or other students in the school better understood?” and, “If you could change one thing at the school, what would it be?” These signs were meant to prompt the students into conversations about their concerns. 

    “They allowed the students to have a voice in the issues that matter most around the school,” said Nick Pagliarulo, another junior at Triton. “This definitely gave the faculty a better feel for what the students would like to see as a change.” Pagliarulo also said that some topics that were discussed were making waters free, reviewing teachers, serving better lunches, and adding water refilling stations. He even said that there were some back and forth debates about future classes that should come to Triton.

“I think it’s a good way for us to get feedback about what we’re doing and also for us to build relationships with our students,” said Mr. Kelley in a video recorded by VTV, Triton’s news television class. The faculty needs to know what the students think in order to improve how they teach and run the school. He also said, “We would like to do these about once a month, as a way for us to better understand our students and the student experience here at the high school.” 

“He (Mr. Kelley) will get together with an administrative team, and guidance and all that. He will take that feedback that he gets from the kids, and say, ‘Maybe we can try this, let’s do this,’” said Mr. Brennan, assistant principal who attended the lunch. He also said, “Who knows better than you guys? (the students).”

Everyone has their own opinions. These new group lunches are an effective way to express opinions about Triton and resolve issues that students have. The students get to let out their frustration to the faculty and the faculty can use that information to improve the environment that they all have to live in.