Introducing: Mr. Johns


Humza Maqsood

Mr. Johns, Ames High School’s principal starting this school year.

Since 2019, Ames High has had at least one new administrator every year. The latest principal, Mr. Johns, voices his support for a “stable, safe learning environment.”

Steve Johns grew up in Colo, Iowa, a small town just east of our humble town of Ames. He spent the majority of his education in Ames and went on to be a principal in two Des Moines public schools, leading the Colo-NESCO and Williamsburg Districts, according to the Ames Tribune. When asked what he does in his free time, he gave us an aerial answer.

“Actually,‌ ‌I‌ ‌have‌ ‌my‌ ‌commercial‌ ‌pilot’s‌ ‌license,”‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌said.‌ ‌“I‌ ‌took‌ ‌aviation‌ ‌classes‌ ‌ through‌ ‌aeronautical‌ ‌engineering‌ ‌at‌ ‌Iowa‌ ‌State ‌and‌ ‌received‌ ‌my‌ ‌private‌ ‌license‌ ‌during‌ ‌that‌ ‌time.‌ ‌I‌ ‌purchased‌ ‌an‌ ‌airplane‌ ‌and‌ ‌flew‌ ‌it‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌long‌ ‌time.‌ ‌I‌ ‌sold‌ ‌it‌ ‌recently,‌ ‌but‌ ‌I‌ ‌finished‌ ‌my‌ ‌commercial‌ ‌license. I‌ ‌was‌ ‌just‌ ‌completing‌ ‌my‌ ‌CFI‌ ‌certification‌ ‌(Certified‌ ‌Flight‌ ‌Instructor)‌ ‌when‌ ‌Dr.‌ ‌Hawkins‌ ‌called‌ ‌and‌ ‌asked‌ ‌if‌ ‌I‌ ‌would‌ ‌return‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌principalship‌. ‌”‌

As for the school, Principal Johns stated that his primary goal is to stabilize the condition of the school through increased continuity (in short, have familiar faces) and implement systems that work for students and teachers.

When asked to elaborate on this, he touched on issues that Ames High seems to be struggling with: people loitering in the hallways when class is in session and students hanging out in the restroom at inappropriate times. Principal Johns proposed a solution to these affairs. 

His plan consists of implementing hall monitors and having the doors locked after the beginning of class. This would require students to check in with a hall monitor in that specific wing. The hall monitor would scan their school ID and print out a pass for the students in order for them to access their classroom. He did acknowledge that it can be uncomfortable for those who want to use the restroom regularly. 

Principal Johns elaborated that they are still planning out how many tardies it will take to be given detention. He also made clear that students who decide that this system does not work for them have the option of “alternative programming” available to them.

Above all, Mr. Johns points out that one of his duties as a principal is to ensure that students know the administration and can see them often.

“If you come in in the morning (via) the parking lot, you see two principals who tell you good morning.”

It’s great to hear that our new administration is gearing towards solving our school’s issue regarding stability! We are hesitant to promise anything as of yet given the past administration’s promises. Even so, the fact that they are taking proactive measures now to help alleviate the very issues we spoke about is definitely a step towards overall unity.