#SaveYancey: A Year in Retrospect

Kevin+Yancey+poses+for+an+impromptu+selfie+with+students+in+early+2017.
Kevin Yancey poses for an impromptu selfie with students in early 2017.

Kevin Yancey poses for an impromptu selfie with students in early 2017.

Kevin Yancey poses for an impromptu selfie with students in early 2017.

Ruben Thevenow, Staff Writer

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It’s been over a year since the #SaveYancey movement was started in the halls of MCHS. The movement was created to save Madison Consolidated High School’s former principal, Kevin Yancey, from getting fired and generated peaceful protests by our students with an overwhelming amount of students attending board meetings and participating in social media outcry. Here’s a look back at the past year in the wake of Mr. Yancey’s removal:

A New Principal:

Ultimately, while heavily supported among the student body, the Yancey movement did not change the board members’ decision to fire Mr. Yancey. This resulted in a new principal for our school: Michael Gasaway. For some teachers and students there has been a noticeable change.

“Similar things (between Mr. Yancey and Mr. Gasaway) are that I think kids still feel a connection to the principal. Maybe not the seniors, but I haven’t heard the seniors really complain about him either. But I think (with) the underclassman getting to start off with him, I think he’s able to forge his own path with the students….they are both men that care deeply about the wellbeing of their students. Student morale, I think, Gasaway does a good job with that, but we do know that Mr. Yancey cared a lot about the students.”

While Principal Gasaway and Yancey share some similarities, they do have contrasts, too.

“Differences? Well I think that Mr. Gasaway is new. Not only new to the school but new to the entire community. I think for that reason he has a lot to learn,” Mrs. Lee stated.

Wesley Stewart, a sophomore spending his second season on the bowling team, stated that he feels like Gasaway is more involved with the students, specifically lesser supported school-sanctioned sports like bowling.

“I’m on the bowling team and I feel like he has made efforts to come talk to us (and) support us.”

Though he thinks Gasaway has been more supportive, Stewart conceded that Yancey was also going through the steps of leaving.

Ruben Thevenow
MCHS Sophomore Wesley Stewart

A New Atmosphere:

As expected, with a new principal, came a new atmosphere. This means new rules, different views, and overall, how students react to the new atmosphere. When asked about what she saw, senior Brooklyn Koehler said this,

“I definitely see a change in rules. That’s about it. I really don’t see any change in the students. (Mr.) Gasaway is more serious about rules (and) more serious about attendance. I feel like these should be enforced more, but overall everything is stricter.”

Stewart also agreed that things are much stricter. He also said that the reason could be is that the school just felt so relaxed last year.

“I feel like now there is more enforcing, we have an enforcer. Last year our enforcer, Mr. Yancey was leaving,” said Stewart.

Kailyn Rector, also a sophomore, agreed that school is stricter. She noticed that the school atmosphere feels more “school like.”

“It seems almost elementary. Not childish and we still have freedom, but I feel as if I’m going to a school now. I’d say we are heavily focusing on things that I can’t say I agree with, like attendance,” said Rector.

Rector also commented about how she is very happy with the school’s emphasis on security and the new measures that support that. Although she did say that she wishes there is more crackdown on the use of tobacco at school such as chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Mrs. Lee added, “I think that there is a different spirit. I don’t know if it’s worse or if it’s better, but it is different.”

Mrs. Lee then went on to explain what she sees in the classroom and hallways. One of her main points was how she didn’t think students let the prior predicament with Mr. Yancey interfere with their image of Gasaway. She said there’s not a big feeling that’s different; everything is just new.

Ruben Thevenow
Mrs. Krista Lee

A New Job

Outside of our high school, Kevin Yancey is still doing meaningful work for our school cooperation. Yancey’s official title is “Alumni Relations-Outreach Coordinator.” Some of his duties are planning events such as class reunions, sport reunions, and extra-curricular reunions such as band and theatre. Yancey also gathers alumni information such as phone numbers and emails for these events.

This isn’t the only project Yancey has been working on, however. Alongside the interim superintendents, he has made a Volunteer Management System.

“‘Let’s say I want to volunteer; I’d go online to our website and click the volunteer tab. It will display all the information that they need to fill out. It also tells them what they can do,” Yancey said.

The Volunteer System is supposed to be complete by the end of this month.

Yancey has a Facebook page for, “Madison Alumni and Friends.” Here he posts spotlights (interviews) of former alumni. Another thing he is working on are what Yancey calls his “Flashbacks.” These are literal flashbacks of groups that deal with the high school. The first one will be about Madison’s theatre program.

If you are an MCHS alumnus and you are interested,  want to be notified of such events, or just look at the content they produce, click here.

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “#SaveYancey: A Year in Retrospect”

  1. Ann Walro on March 1st, 2018 1:03 pm

    This is a timely article. I have been thinking of Mr. Yancy and wondering what will happen to him next year. Guess I am still wondering about that. It is nice to hear how the students like their new principal. My thoughts are always with the students and I pray for their safety. I loved working for MCHS for 19 years. Great article!!

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