How Danny Does It
By Catherine Brown, Photo & Business Editor
While stuck inside during the virus, many people will find themselves calling friends to catch up. Unfortunately, we don’t all get to converse with your high school’s principal, Danny Rock. I wanted to check in with the man during these times and see how he was. Here is what he had to say.
Q: How are you?
Rock: “Strange times! I’m doing OK. It is really hard to have work, kids’ school, and home life all smashed into the same space at the same time. However, on the scale of problems across our country and world, we’re doing pretty dang good still.”
Q: How are you feeling about COVID-19?
Rock: “I’m feeling gratitude that our community is experiencing low incidents of the disease with no reported associated deaths as far as I know. I’m also grateful my immediate family is also safe. At the same time, the economic and mental health impacts are huge for folks right now. I have family members whose businesses have shut down and are facing a sudden loss of income. I have students, parents, and to a lesser degree staff who are grieving and struggling with the loss of school right now.”
Q: What’s it like to live in a house during a pandemic with younger kids?
Rock: “It is great to have more time with them during the day and it also drives us all a little nutty at times to be cooped up all day every day.”
Q: How does it feel to be a principal during a pandemic?
Rock: “It is challenging to be a leader of a community I never see in person. I’m stuck doing more logistic tasks instead of seeing and then responding in the moment. That said, I’ve been super impressed with how our students, parents, and staff are responding to this pandemic. Folks have been patient and kind throughout each phase — go pirates!”
Q: Do you think the school could have done anything to prepare for school shutdowns sooner?
Q: How do you feel about schools shutting down?
Rock: “Sad, but also confident it was the right decision to keep us all safe.”
Q: Do you think we will be able to flatten the curve before the end of June?
Rock: “Yes, I think we already are seeing signs that the curve is flattening. Rates of infection are down and the goal of ensuring hospital capacity is strong has been accomplished.”
Q: When quarantine is over, what is the first thing you plan to do?
Rock: “Wow, I’m not sure! Have a party with friends for sure.”
Q: Have you been social distancing?
Rock “Totally — no time with friends, extended family members, colleagues, etc.”
Q: Do you have a daily routine you do? What does that look like?
Rock “Wake up between 6-7 a.m., coffee/me time, email, make breakfast for the kids, get kids set up for learning for the day, start my meetings and work for the day.”
Q: Do you prefer Zoom or Google Meets? Why?
Rock “I use both, no real preference.”
Q: Have you watched any good TV shows or movies over your time in quarantine?
Rock “My wife and I watched Bodyguard on Netflix; we liked it a lot.”
Q: There have been some students who have referred to this time as a “Coronacation.” Do you agree with this term? Why or why not?
Rock “Yes and no. It obviously is a slower and less rigorous pace for students in terms of school work. However, it certainly isn’t relaxing per se or filled with activities that are as life giving as would be possible if we weren’t locked down.”
Q: Will there be any major changes to the school in the fall? Some schools claim they will be social distancing; would we do that?
Rock “It’s hard to predict the future right now but I could foresee us opening school with some social distancing rules still in play. More shall be revealed in the weeks and months to come.”