By Isabella Harnick
While the rest of us will soon be enjoying our summer vacations, Principal Susan Elliott and other administrators will embark on a different kind of journey right here at South. Have you ever wondered what our principal and her staff do while we are off camping, biking around Europe, or working at our first jobs? While we are taking a break from our studies at South, Ms. Elliott and staff members devote twenty additional days to ensuring a smooth transition to the following school year as well as making sure new improvements are carried out.
Right after we walk out the door on the last day of school and the seniors say their goodbyes to their home for the last four years, Ms. Elliott, Ms. Applebaum, Mr. Duggan, and other staff members roll up their sleeves and get to work. Ms. Elliott finds that “the summer gives [us] the opportunity to take care of the school in a quieter, more relaxed way.” She has many responsibilities over the summer, including meeting with different department heads, planning for next year, making sure that the programs are all set, and talking with parents of incoming ninth graders.
During the summer, Ms. Elliott has realized she is able to pay attention to the parts of her job that she can’t completely focus on during the school year because she is dealing with parents, teachers, and students. Ms. Elliott said with a chuckle, “It is always funny to come into school during the summer because it is so quiet. It feels a little spooky and a little like when you are home alone and you feel like the house is too big, except that this is to the n-th degree.”
Our principal never gets to go out for lunch during the school year, but during the summer, she has more time to do this. In fact, this is her favorite part about working over the summer. If anyone plans on going out to lunch at Peter Luger this vacation, you may just spot Ms. Elliott, Ms. Applebaum, and Mr. Duggan dining there, eating Luger’s famous burgers.
After working over the summer, Ms. Elliott gets a break to enjoy time with her family. Ms. Elliott and her husband are renting a house on Sullivan’s Island, a beach community off the coast of Charleston, S.C. Even with surroundings of relaxation, she will not have much time to rest as the next school year will be just around the corner. Ms. Elliott will welcome the start of school as the students fill the empty halls once more. To her, this “feels more like it.”