By Jules Ford
The Principal’s Advisory Committee (PAC), a group organized by Principal Stacey Riendeau to receive feedback from students, met for the first time this year on Sept. 3. Due to Covid-19, the committee was inactive for the 2020-2021 school year in response to the precautionary measures taken by Heritage High School. This year, the committee plans to meet once a month, as in previous years.
The committee is led by Riendeau, the principal at Heritage, and Jill McCormick, an assistant principal and activities director. The committee provides students from different backgrounds with an opportunity to share their perspectives with the administration.
“The PAC is an opportunity for students of all backgrounds to sit in front of the principal and voice their concerns,” states McCormick.
The PAC benefits the student body by allowing students to voice concerns within the building that may go unnoticed by the staff. Whether it’s the parking lot, the lack of pencil sharpeners in the study centers, mask mandates or vandalism in the bathroom, the PAC is open to discuss topics that are active at Heritage.
McCormick and Riendeau work together to respond to student concerns. When there is a concern that cannot be changed or resolved, Riendeau explains the situation from a schoolwide and district perspective.
“If the students have a concern, they can bring it to the committee, and Riendeau can explain or get the district to explain. If it’s neither, it can start discovery of the concern,” explains McCormick.
On the staff side of the committee, assessing concerns allows the administrators and teachers in the building to discover new opportunities to connect with students.
“Not every staff member is helped by the advice, but when the admin or staff are lost, it’s nice to have the student perspective. It balances those voices for us,” states Riendeau.
Junior Joan P. has been a member of the committee since 2019.
“I think it’s pretty cool. It’s nice to be a part of an organized group that gets to promote change around the school,” says Joan.