A day in the life of Principal Guiney

Erik Tischer

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By: Erik Tischer and Ben Bizot

Timothy Guiney’s hands have been full ever since he stepped in as Grady principal. Although Guiney’s time at Grady has had its ups and downs, his impact has been significant. While some agree and some disagree with the changes that Guiney has made, students often don’t stop to think about what Guiney does throughout the day to make these changes happen.

Guiney’s day begins bright and early, long before students start arriving at the school. A combination of checking emails and managing the 130 odd staff members at Grady presents a challenge each morning.

“Everyday brings new challenges,” Guiney said. “Staff members bring me information and problems which they need my help to deal with. It’s hard to come up with a schedule during the day because this is a rapidly moving, ever changing type of job.”

When students start arriving, Guiney is already patrolling the halls, dealing with early morning hurdles and making sure students get to their classes on time. Guiney, however, doesn’t do this alone.  Throughout the day, he works in tandem with other administrators and faculty to make each day run as smoothly as possible.

“We work together to get the kids coming in off the bus, and we might need to communicate to make an announcement to give more time for these kids to get to class,” said Raymond Dawson, the 11th grade administrator.

Teachers and administration see Guiney around the school early in the morning and say the principal is very accessible.

“I see Mr. Guiney in the front office bright and early, around 7:45 to 7:50,” said Scott Allen, latin teacher and foreign language department chair. “We sometimes have meetings during my planning periods, and sometimes I don’t even have to schedule meetings with him. He will just meet me on the spot.”

“[Principal] Guiney is very accessible,” said Allen. “He is a very visible force at the school, standing in the stairways moving kids to class. He has made a very tangible improvement to the way things run at Grady.”

One noticeable improvement under Guiney is this year’s improved scheduling process. Scheduling conflicts have been taken care of in the first few days of school rather than weeks. Guiney has made the impression on students that he takes his job seriously.

“During the day I see (Guiney) walking the halls in between classes, ushering kids to go to class and always talking in his walkie talkie,” said sophomore Alex Durham. “Since I’ve been at Grady, there have been increases in security, and a lot more teachers on walkie talkies patrolling the campus to make sure kids don’t fight.”

There are many tasks that Guiney handles daily, including teacher evaluations which are a big part of the administration’s job.

“We meet to talk about upcoming teacher evaluations and to coordinate testing times for SLOs,” Dawson said. “He is a very supportive principal and is great about deadlines.”

“Sometimes I set a to-do list and sometimes get the to-do list done,” said Guiney. “But other times, I just kind of have to look back at it at the end of the day and say I have to work a little bit late to catch some of these things.”

Although it may seem as if local events such as Music Midtown, which use Grady’s parking lots, make Guiney’s job harder, these events don’t change his job all that much, the principal said. Large community events do require that Guiney communicates with the PTSA and Local School Council.

“Generally, maybe not everybody feels this way, but to be a good principal you have to like people, if you didn’t you would be miserable,” said Guiney. “I love the interactions I have with parents, teachers, and students. We have a very involved parent body here at Grady which is both supportive and demanding.”

Guiney has had lots of experience with people and management. Before becoming the principal here at Grady, Guiney worked as a principal at Adamson Middle School in Clayton County, and before that as a restaurant manager. He also worked as an English teacher at Morrow High School and served as the yearbook adviser.

“I think that Principal Guiney is obviously a good principal and qualified for the job, and he is taking over a difficult position being a principal at a public high school,” Durham said. “He understands the goals that he has for Grady, and I think that he is doing his best to improve the school.”

At the end of the day Guiney is still happy to see Grady students striving to achieve excellence. He can be seen at plays and sporting events long after the school day ends.

“My favorite part of the day is when I get to see our students displaying their intelligence, creativity, and talents,” said Guiney. “Sometimes I get bogged down in some of the bureaucratic details of the job, and I might not get as much of that interaction. When I do get it, I enjoy it.”

 

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