John Tyler High School has gone through a tough year, culminating with the controversial reassignment of former principal Dr. Aubrey Todd.
Friday, the new principal, Michael McFarland looked to make a new start.
John Tyler's library was filled with eagerness and excitement at the prospect of change.
It was a meeting Principal McFarland says he's planned since the day he was hired.
"It's easy as an adult to try to correct all the problems without including the students," he said. "But the reality is they can give us some insight and some perspective that would cause us to think about things differently."
Community support, teacher/student relationships, and overall academic excellence were all discussed. Students say they were encouraged by the response.
"I'm extremely impressed," said Junior Class President, Chasidy Griffin. "When he came in today in the library and asked us what do we feel about the campus I was shocked, because no one really cared about what we thought."
"He got to see where the students were coming from and we got to see where the principal and the administrators were coming from," said Lion's Tale Editor-in-Chief Shunte Andrews.
"It was inspirational," said Kevin Lemons, Student Council Executive Vice President. "He relates more with the student body. I just feel like he'll be a great person to work with."
McFarland later went on a tour of the John Tyler campus with the students. He challenged them to view the school through the eyes of a visitor.
Students marked and noted the things they wanted to improve on, developing plans for beautification and campus adoption projects.
"The thing that is exciting is that the kids have the same desire that I have," said McFarland. "So it's not like I have to go in, all I have to do is just kinda start the fire, create a spark and they'll provide the fuel to change."
With that desire to change, McFarland and the students hope the ideas discussed today, will become the future reality of John Tyler.
Principal McFarland and the students will meet again in July. They will discuss school rules, procedures and any safety concerns.
Story by Maya Golden