Principal Anderson addresses how COVID has affected his role as principal


Glenbard East Principal Antoine Anderson

While new principal, Antoine Anderson, begins to tackle the unknown hurdles that come with a school year amidst COVID, he is confident that Glenbard East’s resilience will exceed the challenges.

“We have to continue to adapt and be resilient,” he said. “We as a community have what it takes to get through this. We need to lean on and support one another through this, but this too shall pass. At some point, COVID will be in our rearview mirror but until that time comes we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to take care of one another”.

Anderson has been a part of the Glenbard East family for 10 years, eight of which as our assistant principal. Towards the end of the 2020 school year, he was promoted to the position of principal. Because of his experience with East, he feels it has “aided” in his transition to becoming the new principal. However, he does express that nothing can really prepare you for the new role.

“I don’t know if there’s ever anything that will fully prepare you for the role because it’s a new role,” he said “I think what it has done is that because I am familiar with Glenbard East it has eased that transition”.

He stated that COVID has redefined the role of the principal as he has and will have to continue to face COVID-related issues. He explained that COVID has added some level of anxiety to the role but wants to be as detail-oriented with his administration to prepare students and staff to further create a sense of community.

“This is our first pandemic. There is no playbook we can refer to” he stated.

Anderson has met with Supper Attendants, District Administrators, and the principals of the other Glenbards various times over the summer when creating the plan for remote learning and the transition into hybrid. This includes the numerous additions to the school such as thermal scanning, the spacing of the desks, and signs along the hallways to create a safe learning environment for students and staff. They have also provided teachers with professional development classes to ensure a smooth transition into hybrid.

With students and parents worried about how that school year may look, Anderson understands that there is a longing for a sense of normalcy. Many of the usual sports and actives have been canceled or postponed this year but Anderson does want to provide the option for students to be able to attend school and to have virtual events to substitute those that can’t be held

“Schools are meant to have students in them, and although we’ve had quite a few students choose to remain remote for the rest of the semester, one sense of normalcy is just being able to walk up and down the halls from one period to the next and to sit in front of and engage with your teachers” he said.

Anderson’s main focus this year, more than ever, has been the safety and health of all those who attend Glenbard East while still creating a positive outlook and a place to learn. He is eager to open the doors to students but still wants to follow safety protocols such as social distancing.

Anderson has also been receiving feedback about remote and hybrid learning from teachers through emails and department chairs. He hopes to form a student advisory group to understand the perspective of students.

During his years as principal, Anderson hopes to continue to grow the culture, climate, and diversity of Glenbard East and make sure everyone who enters its doors has a voice and feels welcomed and appreciated. He stated that this is one of East’s strengths that will help us tackle the pandemic.

He hopes to continue to push the message to “Take care of yourself, take care of others, take care of East”.