By Jamie Gilmore, News Writer

On August 22, Keenan’s student body met its new principal, Mr. Vondre’ T. Whaley.

Whaley is a graduate of South Carolina State University, earning his master’s degree in Biology He was formerly an assistant principal at A.C Flora High School and Eau Claire High School.

“I think it’s a great feeling working with young people to establish a vision to take W.J Keenan High to the next level,” Whaley said.

As the school year started to unfold, things began to change to better student’s educational environment. Whaley has implemented two programs to help students’ understanding and students’ grades. Raider Time is the last hour of each class on Fridays when students have the opportunity to make up or redo assignments. The No Zero Campaign has been in effect since August 22; it is a pledge to help pupils avoid receiving zeros on assignments. It was working hand-in-hand with Raider Time.

As principal, Whaley has to work closely with various school organizations, but he was been working endlessly with Student Council to get students’ input and help create an exciting environment.

“Mr. Whaley is very open to our ideas; he wants us to have a fun yet safe learning environment, but he is all about structure and organization, so everything has to be planned out thoroughly,” Senior Sumieko Howard, Student Body President, said.

The student body was formally known as the Mighty Raiders, but Whaley felt Students were more than mighty, they are CHAMPIONS!

“A Champion Raider has great communication skills, with the ability to establish a relationship with all people, [and] a leader who is willing to take charge when needed. A Champion Raider understands that helping people is the great calling,” Whaley said.

Students started to quickly adapt to the Champion Raiders expectation with Whaley leading by example as Keenan Champion Principal.

“A Raider is a pirate, so to be a champion pirate means you have to not only guide the ship, but you have to dive into the sea and be ready to fight whatever comes your way, so as champion principal, he dives into the sea with all of his fight and fights whatever battle comes their way,” Senior Alexxis Mitchell, Miss Keenan, said.

Whaley has become captain and plans for this ship to sail in the right direction. As the years go on, Whaley plans for himself and his staff and students to continue to bond as a family, strive for success and to improve Keenan.