Q&A with the Alden-Conger principal

Published 11:53 am Sunday, March 24, 2013

Alden-Conger’s new principal Brian Shanks stands next to the school sign. --Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

Alden-Conger’s new principal Brian Shanks stands next to the school sign. –Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

What is your name?

Brian Shanks.


When did you start?

July of 2011.


What is your favorite experience so far as a principal?

The favorite thing I experience every day is the interaction with the students in all grades. I have been quickly welcomed into the Alden-Conger Schools family and it is impossible for me to go anywhere in the building without students going out of their way to say “Hi Mr. Shanks” or to come over and give me a high five.


What are some challenges you’ve seen?

Being able to keep up with the increasing financial demands of providing access to the many different forms of technology for our students. We need to prepare our students for the technological world that they are growing up in and it is very difficult to keep up-to-date with the rapidly changing technology that exists.


What has been your experience in working with parents of students?

Parents care about their children. They may struggle at times finding ways to communicate that to me, but I know they care.


What is your favorite thing about the towns of Alden and Conger?

The dedication and commitment the two communities have for the school. Without their support it would be difficult, if not impossible, to function as a school.


What are your top three goals for the coming year?

My only goal is to continue to help our school be the best possible place for parents to bring their children to get a quality education. This goal encompasses many, many different things including improving test scores, improving communication with parents and helping our students feel safe at school.


How have you cultivated your relationships with students?

By letting them know I care about them as individuals. I am very visible throughout the day and talk to the students in a respectful manner. I also enjoy attending various student events. I have been to many different sporting events, plays, concerts and graduation parties. The students want to know that we care about them, and this is an easy way to show it.


What has been your experience working with teachers and staff?

The teaching staff cares about our students. They have made a commitment to their students, to their profession and to Alden-Conger School.


What are some of the successes you’ve had in your time so far?

The biggest “success” we’ve had since I began is improving the safety of our students while they are at school. A new phone system was installed so ALL teachers have a phone in their room. This was a huge safety issue as it was nearly impossible for teachers to communicate with anyone during an emergency. We have also become very thorough with the variety of drills that are required of us.


Anything else you’d like to say about your time as principal so far?

I can’t express enough in words how much I enjoy being here. I look forward to coming to school. I look forward to working with my staff. I look forward to helping our students. Go Knights!