LYONS LOOKS FORWARD TO NEXT CHAPTER IN LIFE
BY NAYELI HERNANDEZ
EL RODEO STAFF WRITER
The school year is ending, and it’s time for us to say goodbye to things like the 2016-2017 school year and the class of 2017. As sad as these goodbye’s may be, none will be as bittersweet as our farewell to Mr. Jonathan Lyons.
You might remember Lyons from our first issue of the year, as we introduced him as ‘Music-Loving Mr. Lyons’ and our 2016-2017 principal. Lyons comes from humble beginnings and has been around the high school system since he was fourteen years old.
Despite an impressive first year as principal, the El Rancho District and school board have decided to go in a different direction.
As hard as it will be to let go of El Rancho, Lyons reflects on his first year as principal at El Rancho High School.
“This has been a blast. I can’t imagine a better experience than the opportunity to do this. I’ve wanted to be a principal, probably since my third year of teaching. To be in a position where I got to do that, where I got to be in that world, even if it was just for a short amount of time, has been great,” says Lyons,“I could not have asked for better kids, better teachers; I would not complain at all about the experience I have had this year.”
Even as he is departing, Lyons has high hopes for the future of El Rancho and all those a part of the school.
“I’m confident that the school will move and grow be-cause it has a strong base. The kids are great and the teachers are great,” says Lyons.
“As long as you have that, everything else is just gravy.”
As principal, Lyons has en- joyed the opportunity he’s had to interact with all of the students on campus, in one way or another.
“I don’t know if I have a singular fondest memory. My fondest experiences have been the times that I’ve been able to interact with the kids and really just kind of get to know what their story is and what’s going on and how we can make this a better experience for you guys,” says Lyons.As music-loving Lyons, it comes as no surprise that his favorite parts of El Rancho have been the pep rallies.“The pep rallies are great.I’m a pep rally guy, I love pep rallies, who doesn’t love pep rallies? Who doesn’t love screaming and jumping around?” asks Lyons.
Even though it was Lyons’ first year on campus, he was still able to introduce a variety of new ideas and leave a lasting impression. His legacy will continue here in the form of the Principal’s Award, which he awarded to Samantha Leggis and Humberto Sanchez during Senior Awards Night.
“The principal at my old school had an award that she always kept on the side and it was kind of how I explained it at Senior Awards,” says Lyons, “It’s a selfish moment where I get to recognize kids that I have had an opportunity to work with, beyond just as students on campus. It was just a way for me to say, ‘these are kids that I appreciate.’”
Not only was Lyons incredibly appreciative of the two recipients when handing them their awards, he also had a lot to say about them in this interview.
“In my head, all the seniors are fantastic and I love all of them, but with Bert and Sam, that’s kind of what we strive for… I think if you closed your eyes and you thought about this year, from whatever perspective, there’s a group of kids that have always, kind of, moved to the top. You see them all the time, they’re at everything. They’re the fabric of the campus,” says Lyons.
As Lyons begins to step away from this chapter of his life, he is still unsure about where he will begin the next chapter of his life.
“I’ve been on a lot of interviews. I’m hopeful that I can stay a principal at the high school level,”says Lyons. “That’s kind of where my experience is, but it may be at a middle school, it may be an assistant principal position. I’m not really sure. I’ve been looking at different opportunities.”
Thanks to his experience as principal at El Rancho, Lyons has learned an abundance of new life skills, many of which he will take with him as he continues on his stroll through the jungle.
“[I’ve learned] trust your instincts, you don’t know everything, and to be open and honest; to be transparent, to be ‘this is where I’m at this, is where my head’s at.’ No matter how smart you are, it doesn’t mean thatyou know everything. This last year has really taught me that more than I would have anticipated,” says Lyons.
Lyons is positive that no matter where he goes, it would be a shock to have an experience that is even close to the one he’s had here at the Ranch.
“I may do this job someplace else, but it’s going to be different, because it just is,” says Lyons, “To be able to walk in and say, ‘this is what I can rely on, I can rely on good people.’ Will I ever have a group of people like this? Probably not. There’s no way to say. I’m really lucky. Mrs.Chavez is fantastic, Mrs. Leal is fantastic, Mr. Medrano, Mrs. Rosales, they’re a great time, great supportstaff. The easiest part of this job is Iget to work with really good kids, that makes it easy. I probably won’t have that again, that unique experience.”
All in all, El Rancho has had an incredible impact on Lyons in every way possible. The position he’s had here has definitely changed him for the better.
“I think I’m much more comfortable making tough decisions. It’s something that you never get good at. [Same for] having those hard conversations with people sometimes,” says Lyons, “Having to make those tough decisions, I think that was a skill that has changed me.”
When Lyons first started here at El Rancho, his goal was to create a positive atmosphere in which students could have a joyful experience.
“Yeah, we want kids to do well, we want you to graduate from high school and go to college, but really, I want your experience on the campus to be one that is joyful. This should be fun,” says Lyons, “This is a blast, why would I not want to do this every day? Even on my worst days, I am genuinely, like, super excited to get to work.” How many principals can say that?
Mr. Lyons, this might be the end of your journey here at El Rancho, but we are grateful for all that you’ve done here. Farewell, Mr. Lyons