An Interview with James Crenshaw, our new Principal

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EHHS Principal James Crenshaw

Sarah Baylinson, Staff Writer

A year ago,  no one could’ve predicted that COVID-19 would take over and require a worldwide lockdown. Masks, social distancing, and travel restrictions have become the new “normal”.  A remaining question has been “How long will it take until we can go back to what used to be normal?” Although this question remains unanswered, researchers have been working hard to come up with a vaccine and should be soon available to the public.

During the pandemic, many people have lost or changed their jobs. During this time, East Hampton High School was in search of a new principal. Mr. Crenshaw accepted this offer and started in the Fall for the 2020-21 school year. While accepting a job as a principal in a new school may be hard to adjust, it must’ve been harder to adapt while being thrown into a pandemic. In a recent interview I conducted with Mr. Crenshaw at East Hampton High School, he stated that it has been a rough year in terms of hybrid learning, social distancing within the school, and adjusting to new guidelines.

Mr. Crenshaw was working during the first shut down in March. He stated that he knew it wouldn’t just be a temporary shut down. In the interview, I asked him, “Back in March, did you believe that students would be allowed back in school physically for the 2020-21 school year?” His response was, “I was pretty confident that we shouldn’t come back, I felt pretty strongly because once again nothing was going to change between that point and September. However, I thought that there would be significant political forces and societal forces that wouldn’t be able to tolerate that. In my head, I thought that we would’ve come back sooner than we should’ve, and then there would’ve been a pop in COVID cases.” When September came, he believed that it was safe to return to school in the fall at half capacity with social distancing, sneeze guards, and masks in place.

According to Mr. Crenshaw, there has been no spread of COVID within the school that we know of. Due to the spike in cases in our town, East Hampton High School was forced to test 20% of students and faculty since we are a classified yellow zone. Since the percent of those that were tested was lower than the percent spread in the area, the school has remained open. 

Although Mr. Crenshaw doesn’t believe that within this school year students will be allowed back full time, he looks at everything with the glass half full. Throughout this interview with Mr. Crenshaw, he showed his true colors and stated that everything is a team effort, never a one-man job. Mr.Crenshaw is a very humble person, and East Hampton High School should be excited to see what he has in store for the future.