Walking in principal’s shoes
Reuben Jones describes what a typical day on campus looks like for him.
Most students at Diamond Bar High School recognize the name Reuben Jones as that of their principal. However, few are familiar with what he does behind the scenes. Although his main tasks include attending meetings and overseeing administration on campus, Jones does much more.
“That’s the job… it’s relationships, it’s talking to people… connecting with people and kind of being the face of Diamond Bar High,” Jones said in an interview.
No two days are the same for Jones. One day could be spent in his office and around campus; the next he could be at an off-campus meeting.
Aside from the meetings and work, Jones also takes time to relax. Two pastimes he particularly enjoys are listening to music and playing chess.
“I have a chess board that, if there’s any student who likes to play chess, I’ll gladly play a game of chess. That’s definitely a relaxing thing for me,” Jones said.
7 a.m. – Arrives on campus.
8 a.m. – Around this time, he often has a meeting. When he meets with a parent or staff member, usually it is to hear a complaint. Sometimes, DBHS alumni drop by and Jones will catch up with them or give them a campus tour. “Wednesday of last week, there was a Diamond Bar graduate that I had coached when I was a coach. He just came by in the morning… so I was able to visit with that former Brahma and give him a quick tour around campus.”
9 a.m. – According to Jones, he tries to walk around the campus and visit classrooms at least once a day, either in the morning or in the afternoon. Sometimes, he spends this time in his office checking emails and saying hello to staff and passersby.
10 a.m. – At this time, the administrative staff at DBHS—all four deans, the vice principal, and Jones himself—hold a stand-up meeting, one that is not held in a meeting room, on campus for five to 10 minutes to see what each department is doing. The rest of the hour is usually spent on other one-on-one meetings with staff and parents.
11 a.m. – Jones usually spends this time traveling from the school to the district office, where lunch meetings are frequently held.
12 p.m. – At these lunch meetings, Jones and the district staff discuss topics such as campus projects, parent complaints and staff employment.
1 p.m. – By this time, Jones is usually back at school and ready for more meetings, or a teacher observation. “A teacher who said they’re doing an activity on Westward expansion [might ask], ‘Please come and watch my fifth period class perform a skit.’”
2 p.m. – This time is spent on a variety of things–meetings, walking around campus or catching up on emails.
3 p.m. – On days with special events such as performances, sports games or meetings, Jones goes home 30 minutes after the bell. When the time of the event comes, he returns to campus to watch the performance or attend the meeting. “I could leave at 3:30 and make it back for the concert by 6:30… It’s a couple hours where I can go, and visit with my kids, and be home for a few hours before coming back for the 7 event,” Jones said.
4 p.m. – If there is no event, however, Jones stays on campus to read and write emails, as there is often not enough free time during the school day for him to complete this task.
5 p.m. – By this time, he leaves campus and goes home for the day. If he has not finished reading and writing his emails, he continues to do so at home.