Creative department teachers step into dean’s position

Ella Underwood, Associate Editor

Former English and art teachers, Jessica Bernacki and Brooke Twohill, are stepping into the dean’s position for this 2021-2022 school year.  

Lisa Smith, the assistant principal of attendance and deans, explains how the dean’s office works and their role in the school.

“Their positions are multifaceted,” Smith said. “Obviously, their most important role is [to] help maintain a safe, orderly, secure environment because obviously the safety of our students is number one.” 

Smith also explains that dean’s tackle behavior and monitor the school.

“I think one of the most important pieces is establishing those relationships with students, building those connections so they can also be a support and a resource,” Smith said. She goes on to say that Twohill and Bernacki are not new to the building, Bernacki being here for 10 years and Twohill being here for eight.

Smith expresses her excitement about Bernacki and Twohill joining the dean’s office.

“It’s always nice to have people who are already familiar with our building and our students to move into roles like this because students already know them,” Smith said. 

Jessica Bernacki, one of PSHS former English teachers in the building, says “Being an English teacher, there was actually a good transition into being a dean because in an English classroom there is a lot of relationship building because we are able to have open, authentic discussions…” Bernacki continues to stress the importance of building student and staff relationships because when they make connections, students feel more comfortable to have honest conversations.

“I think part of being a dean is just making sure there’s not anything in place that is making a student uncomfortable,” Bernacki continues. She explains that part of her mission statement is to make sure she gets rid of anything that’s in place that makes students uncomfortable so students can be successful in the building and in the future.

Brooke Twohill, who taught art at South for (how many years), explains how she feels about being in a new position.

“You’re not teaching lessons as far as curriculum goes but you are teaching life lessons,” Twohill said. She also explains that some students visit them because they are having a rough day and need someone to hear them.

Twohill believes that relationship building is important in the school.

 “I think in order to facilitate good behaviors it helps when you make strong positive relationships,” she said.

L Underwood