IHS welcomes new principal Amanda Melsby


Kayla Xu

After weeks of parent forums and teachers discussions about the qualities they sought to have in a principal, FUSD hired Amanda Melsby for the position of principal of Irvington High School on Nov. 15, 2017.

Kayla Xu, Staff Writer

The Voice: What did you do before you became a principal for Irvington High School?


Melsby: I taught at American High School as an English teacher for 10 years and then I became Assistant Principal. This was the beginning of my fifth year as Assistant Principal and, obviously, last week, I moved from Assistant Principal to Principal. For the past 15 years, I’ve been in education, but i worked for my college newspaper a couple years before. .


The Voice: Why did you decide to become the principal for Irvington High School?


Melsby: Well, I’ve always worked at high schools, so I definitely wanted to stay at the high school level. I like the age group and the students. Plus, there are just more programs that are going on. In terms of wanting to come to Irvington, there is just such a culture of community. There are the special programs that Irvington does, like the Arts Magnet Program. So I think it was the school that made me really want to apply for the position, not so much the actual position. It’s definitely an honor, and I’m thrilled to be the principal. But it’s Irvington that I really wanted to be a part of.


The Voice: What do you specifically like about Irvington?

Melsby: One thing that I’ve noticed while being on campus for the first few days is that staff and students are incredibly friendly. I have also noticed that teachers are really passionate about their subjects and their students and that then transfers to the students. Also, the level of professionalism that is brought to some of the programs like drama,choir, and the visual/performing arts has been really great to see.


The Voice: What do you think Irvington is doing well in?

The benchmark projects and families are unique  to Irvington and help build that community. The benchmark projects, specifically, are almost like a rite of passage, like “Gotta do the Quest project!” You have probably heard about the Quest project before you even got here, so having things like that makes the school unique and special. It is tradition, and I think tradition is important to have.


The Voice: What are you goals for Irvington High School?


Melsby: My goal is to talk to teachers and students. I’ve had more meetings than I’ve ever had before.I’m not someone who is coming in with an agenda. Obviously, there are the established rules that the school has, and I’ll continue to work with the staff on them. But, there’s not something that I’m particularly focused on right now because I don’t know the school well enough.


The Voice: What would you like to encourage and build off of at Irvington?


Melsby: I’d like to encourage a sense of community and having students feel like they have a tie to the school. Maybe they’re not into sports but they have drama or the arts or the math and sciences. So having stuff that’s academic but also extracurricular in some way whether it’s ASG or DECA or any of the clubs is something that I want to be a part of and help promote. Likewise, from a teacher’s standpoint, I want to make sure the teachers and the staff also have something that they’re passionate about. Ifif they need to get something started like a new class, I want to be someone who can help facilitate that, so they are also invested and excited to come to school. Yes, we all need to be here everyday, but having that little bit of excitement is something that I want to be a part of and help promote, whatever that may be. Usually, we do our best when we’re passionate or excited about something, so how can we use that? How can I help to promote that? I see my role as not to tell everyone we have to do something, but find what really excites staff and students and how can I can help promote it.