BY JULIA SWAIN
For Dr. Vincent Suber, new Wadsworth High School principal, making connections starts with a simple lunch visit. Maybe it is cheering for the football team under the Friday night lights, or making a stop in the performing arts center to watch the choir perform. Whatever it may be, Suber believes that he has been successful in creating these relationships between students and staff alike.
“It is not uncommon to see me during lunch hours conversing with many of you,” said Suber. “I believe many students recognize me and know who I am, so yes, I believe I have been successful.”
Sophomore, Hailey Harris shared her own example of how Suber has tried to make connections with students. Harris explained that the two shared a conversation about basketball, and he even discussed that he believes that the term “lady grizzlies” should be eliminated, so as to equalize the sports teams.
“He and I talked about basketball and he told me how much he likes Wadsworth basketball,” said Harris. “He even complimented my sweatshirt and was overall very friendly.”
To further make connections within the district, Suber continuously makes an effort to send out a weekly email detailing the events and news at the high school.
“In addition, I email every student, parent and staff member every week with the goal to effectively communicate with all school stakeholders,” said Suber.
His connections do not stop at the high school, however. Suber has made the effort to attend meetings of several groups in town, such as Wadsworth Older Adults Foundations, VSW, Young Business Professionals, Soprema Senior Citizens and YMCA to name a few. Furthermore, he has joined the Wadsworth’s Lions Club. Suber even made an appearance on Wadsworth Community Radio and WCTV.
From his first job working at Chuck E. Cheese to Wadsworth High School, Suber comes with ten years of administrative experience, most recently as principal of Streetsboro Middle School.
Originally from the West Akron/Copley area, Suber has graduated from three universities, Mount Union University with his undergraduate degree, The University of Akron with his masters degree, and most recently he achieved his doctorate degree from Kent State University.
At the beginning of the school year, Suber introduced a new policy that produced intense opinions from students. This new phone policy, which Suber adamantly defends as not a ban, has been struggling according to Suber himself.
“To be honest with you, I am really struggling as I see students on phones during unstructured times,” said Suber. “As a result, I ask students to put their phones away, but in many cases they are checking assignments on Progressbook, playing games or listening to music.”
Suber shared that he has not seen as many students on applications that have been proven to cause stress and anxiety.
“According to our other principals, incidents that require disciplinary actions from social media applications have gone way down,” said Suber. “So in that regard, yes, it has been successful so far.”
While some students may see the phone policy as a large rule change, Suber has a differing opinion. Due to the fact that phones are not completely banned, and may be used for instructional purposes, Suber believes that this policy “is not a large rule change and should be expected”.
“The rule is simple, and if phones are not being used for instructional purposes, they need to be put away,” said Suber.
Suber then explained that his adjustment has been “great”, sharing what he feels has made this adjustment so easy.
“The easiest adjustment by far is being around the students,” said Suber. “It is truly a pleasure to be able to converse with so many great students on a daily basis.”
Students have also shared opinions about how Suber has been doing in his tenure so far, including junior Rose Short, who expressed positive opinions about Suber overall.
“Some of the changes he has made have taken time to get used to but overall he is doing very well,” said Short. “I also enjoy how he stays connected and interactive with the students at WHS.”
Senior Marianne Short shared similar sentiments.
“I think he’s overall doing a good job,” said Short. “Some of the changes he’s made around the school have definitely been an adjustment, though.”
With the second quarter beginning, and the end of the semester quickly approaching, Suber spoke on what he believes was his biggest success in the first quarter.
“Making it through successfully (sic),” said Suber. “There were a few challenges in regard to issues with the pandemic that we had to deal with. We were able to manage and get through some of the mandates that impacted our building.”
When talking about goals for the upcoming quarters, Suber revealed plans to hopefully help motivate students to continue exhibiting positive behavior.
“[My goal is] to begin rewarding students who demonstrate positive behavior on a daily basis,” said Suber. “I plan to work closely with our student leaders to plan future events of recognizing our students.”
Suber has also planned his first PBIS (Positive Behavior Incentives and Supports) event, an initiative that he was recognized for during his time at Streetsboro Middle School, on November 4 during lunch. Students that qualify will have the opportunity to participate in a party that includes a live DJ, Mr. Berlin grilling hot dogs and a large variety of sides, according to Suber.
He then went on to share his excitement for future events, such as winter sports, the upcoming musical, and the holiday performances from the band and choir departments. Suber praised Wadsworth for a warm welcome, and shared his thoughts on how special he believes Wadsworth is.
“When I spoke to a group of students and referred to myself as Mr. Suber, they were all quick to correct me and point out the fact that I am now Dr. Suber, and most students would not know or care about that achievement,” said Suber. “But that moment solidified the fact that Wadsworth High School is a special place to be, and I am thrilled to be here.”