Overland Park, Kansas — A new principal in the Shawnee Mission School District is familiar with his elementary school from the floor up.
Chris Lash first walked into Briarwood Elementary School as a kindergartner. Even after he graduated from elementary school, he wasn’t done treading its floors. In college, he returned as a part-time night custodian while taking classes during the day.
“I always did two mop buckets to get bathrooms extra clean,” he recalled.
His days of mopping and sweeping the halls have long since passed but he’s still strutting through the corridors. Now, he’s the principal.
That’s because he got involved in the after-school program and realized his initial career aspirations were all wrong.
“I was originally in business. I wanted to be a stock broker,” he explained. “I changed my mind and decided education was where my passion was.”
He discovered another passion, too. He fell in love with a fellow teacher.
“I ended up proposing to her in my fifth-grade classroom,” he said.
Naturally, they invited all the faculty and students to watch them exchange their vows in the school courtyard on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004. Of course, the reception was in the school gym.
And even though he has the school’s top job now he believes whether you are a custodian, teacher, principal, counselor or bus driver that everybody has a chance to make a difference in a child’s life.