After 20 years in the Los Alamos High School classroom, Brian Easton is moving on, but not that far. Easton is the new principal of Los Alamos Middle School.
The highly esteemed social studies teacher loved his job, but said he felt ready for a new challenge … although he wasn’t sure what it would be.
Easton recently added a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from New Mexico Highlands University to his degree list. He previously earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in economics and one in government, from the College of William and Mary and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan.
“I wanted to stay in Los Alamos and this job was a good fit for me,” Easton said. “I’m strongly committed to this community and I’m hoping to bring a positive energy to the middle School. I’ve never taught at this level, but I think it’s a really interesting time in students’ lives. It’s really energizing and exciting to be here.”
“Kids at this age often don’t know what they want or what they need,” Easton said. “The challenge is meeting kids where they are and helping them move forward.”
One of Easton’s goals is to ease the transition from elementary to middle school and from middle school to high school. He’ll be working with teachers at those levels to make sure things go the best they possibly can for each student.
Easton wants to talk things over with the staff before making changes, he said, because he plans to rely heavily on their input.
One change that will be coming to the middle school is a new policy on school attire. A student/parent group met over the summer to talk about changing the dress code.
“Everyone kept saying how great the District policy on dress was, so it was decided the policy should be the dress code!” Easton said.
The School Board recognizes that each student’s mode of dress and grooming is a matter of individual preference. The Board will not interfere with students’ and parents’ decisions regarding appearance except when their choices disrupt the educational process, interfere with the maintenance of a positive teaching/learning climate or violate reasonable standards of health, safety, decency and respect for others. The purpose of the student dress code is to encourage students to come to school prepared for the instructional program.
The Board prohibits the displaying of apparel, accessories, or the marking of the skin with designs or patterns, which advocate drugs, tobacco, and/or alcohol use, violence, disruptive behavior, disrespect for others, or denotes gang membership.
“Consistency and fairness are big issues for middle schoolers,” Easton said. “If the policy is reasonable, I think they’ll feel okay about following it. As long as something is not disruptive, it generally won’t be a problem. I want us to focus on what’s really important — educating the students.”