New John Tyler Principal Looking Forward To The Future

Mike McFarland will leave his position as a principal at Foster Middle School in Longview to essentially go back home. Before Foster, McFarland was an assistant principal at John Tyler. Beginning July first, he will be the principal.

His hiring has come at a time when controversy surrounded the reassignment of Dr. Aubrey Todd. But Mike McFarland is concentrating on the school's future.

McFarland's time as principal at Foster middle school has been spent changing the school to become one of the best within Longview I.S.D. "Academically we have the most Duke scholars. We have the highest attendance rate, the lowest failure rate," says McFarland.

That kind of success is exactly what he wants to bring to John Tyler. The first step- turning a significant number of John Tyler seniors into college students. "I want 85 percent of those students accepted into a university by May," says McFarland.

Secondly, Mr. McFarland wants students more involved than ever before, "what I would like to do at John Tyler and what I've been able to do at Foster is giving kids some responsibilities in setting the rules. In making decisions on our campus that's going to affect them."

In fact, last year McFarland got student council members to come up with a plan to put an end to school fights. The students themselves came up with both the rules and the reward if the school was successful.

Moments like that have made McFarland beloved by the students, "I've gotten a stack of letters from kids. They say why, why, why are you leaving."

While McFarland loved his time at Foster, he says he's ready for the challenges that lay ahead.

Amy Tatum, reporting.