Principal Dodig’s Simple Acts of Kindness Lead a Long Way


Principal Dodig's signature presence outside of the cafeteria during all three lunch waves makes Labarre feel more comfortable at Staples.

Rachel Labarre, A&E Editor

A gigantic brick school, about double the size of any school I’ve ever been in with classroom numbers that go up to almost 4,000 – if entering high school wasn’t intimidating enough, entering this school just made it even worse. The school consists of close to 200 staff members and almost 2,000 students, taking the intimidation factor to a whole new level.

Principal John Dodig, however, does not want it to be like that. He goes out of his way to make students feel important and comfortable in our school.

Dodig has found the perfect way to create a comfortable environment in a school as big as ours. By standing in the hallways everyday and conversing with those who pass by him, Dodig has made the atmosphere of Staples more intimate and close. “It made Staples seem more welcoming, friendly, and not so big,” said Caroline Cohen ’15.

Everyday he stands in front of the cafeteria during lunch and ambles the hallways during passing time. Everyday when I walk to lunch, I am assured that he will be standing there, smiling and waving at every student that crosses his path, even engaging in conversation with a few of us.

From this simple act of being seen and talking with students, I find that he is much more approachable. If there was something worrying me, I would feel relaxed discussing the issue with him because I have a feeling of ease from exchanging an occasional “hello.” “It makes him more approachable because he is a constant presence,” said Claudia Kann ’13.

If Dodig didn’t do the simple act of occupying that empty space in the halls, the school just wouldn’t feel as warm as it does.  And I am pretty confident when I say that this wasn’t included in his job description.