Eastern Wake: Opinion

Editorial: Welcome to East Wake High

Stacey Alston will assume the reins at East Wake High School. He inherits a bigger job than most high school principals.

Alston, who has lived in Wendell for over 10 years, doesn’t get to slide easily into the seat left by his predecessor. Instead he will be asked to fill the roles of four people and in addition, he will be in charge of implementing major changes at what is arguably one of the most important institutions in Wendell or Zebulon.

Introduced as the new principal on the same day the Wake County school board formally approved the restructuring of four small schools at East Wake into one large school, Alston will likely have to rethink staffing needs and ecnourage – as much as he can – and open environment in the school for staff and faculty. He will have to negotiate an environment in Wendell and Zebulon, where learning has never been a top priority. And he will have to figure out how to remold institutions within the school that have been separated for most of the past 10 years.

We would encourage Wake County schools to give him wide latitude in making changes he thinks are in the best interest of the students.

Alston has previous experience in eastern Wake County, having served as an assistant principal at Knightdale High School. His family is, as he has said, invested in eastern Wake County, including his own children who will be products of the schools in eastern Wake County. His personal investment is a strong one and that will serve him – and those who go to school at East Wake – well. It’s hard, honestly, to understand the place of a high school in a community without being personally invested in that community. And the value people around these parts place on education is simply not as strong and heartfelt as it is in other parts of Wake County.

Alston will almost undoubtedly make decisions that are displeasing to some. That’s a hazard of the job. But we expect he will work with the community to explain clearly the value of an education and work to get parents, businesses and community leaders on board. And we hope the community will be responsive. It is, after all, a mammoth undertaking. And Alston cannot do it alone.

We look forward to seeing him become a constant presence in our communities and we wish him well.