A lot of things have changed since Drake Shelton became the principal of Gresham High School. Those who have interacted with Shelton seen how vibrant his personality is. Shelton is 39-years-old with four children, and a wife, Aja. Shelton’s career started as a football coach, which led him to wanting to see how students act in the classroom instead of only on the field. That got him interested in pursuing more administrative work which gave him the title Vice Principal and he felt as if that gave him the opportunity to slowly make a change in his own way.
Shelton, who was hired in July, came to Gresham High School with the hope of making a positive change for the students. He’s on a mission to make Gresham more of a community. He decided to come to Gresham because of his experience he has had with many students from GHS, “Every time I met a student, it was engaging and they weren’t rude” principal Shelton said. It’s clear that Shelton came to Gresham with the intention to get to know the students he sees on an everyday basis.
Students hope that Shelton will be more involved with the students and extracurricular activities, “I think if he continues to go to events, say ‘hi’ to people in the hallway, and have new ideas, he can really connect with the students in ways principals haven’t in the past,” ASB president Allie Olson said. It’s clear that many students are setting high expectations for him and his involvement this year.
Everyone is curious about how long Shelton will be the face of our school. But one thing we all need is a principal who is willing to have long term goals for both staff and students.
“I think he is going to be someone that isn’t going to be here short term. I think he’s got long term goals and I would love for him to stick around,” English teacher Safiyah Thorne said.
Thorne isn’t the only one with the hope of him remaining at Gresham to fulfill his goals for the school. For a principal to be able to fully go through with their plans they need time; it can’t be rushed. Shelton has high expectations for the students, staff, and the school overall. The hope is that he will continue his career at GHS and make his mark.
This school year is going to be extremely tough for everyone with the construction and changes happening on campus. But, Shelton is here to make high school life as enjoyable as possible for both students and teachers. “I think if everyone has their eyes open and they are looking at each other, then we’re moving in the right direction,” Shelton said.