The student news site of Watkins Mill High School

The Current

The student news site of Watkins Mill High School

The Current

The student news site of Watkins Mill High School

The Current

A Day in the Life: A look into Ms Najera’s school life

Michelle Batres
Take a look into Principal Najera’s life as student journalists unveil her day.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I had nothing but good memories here at Watkins Mill and I would tell people, you know if Watkins Mill ever opened up, I’m going back home, and here I am.” [/perfectpullquote]

Principal Vilma Najera really said Once a ‘Rine, Always a ‘Rine.

I have a couple of questions that hopefully could be insightful for students at Watkins Mill. Could you please introduce yourself and can you tell us if there’s anything the kids should be looking forward to? Some things coming up for the school, are there any classes introduced this year?

Najera: Hi, my name is Ms. Vilma Najera, and I am the principal of Watkins Mill High School. 

All good things, I made the announcement that I do want to start the Principal Leadership Club, so that is forthcoming. We have our winter concerts, marking period 2, [theatre] plays, and class registration around this time for next semester. Then spring hits and it all goes by fast.

It depends on student interest, there were talks depending on the departments, like what they would want to offer, and I met with all departments. There might be some new course offerings if students are interested in taking those classes.

Do you know if there’s anything new coming to sports this year or anything to look forward to?

Najera: The winter season’s going to start, and it’s my first year here, so I plan on checking out our winter sports. I like winter sports a lot, like wrestling, the basketball team, and all the indoor sports.

Give us a quick brief overview of the job.

Najera: As principal, I’m responsible for the instructional program, the athletic program and to make sure we have things like running water. But we have different assistant principals that also help with that, so I kind of have to know what’s going on at all times.

I wanted to ask about your room, I noticed that you have a lot of Frida Kahlo items in here.

Najera: That’s my girl [Frida Kahlo] yeah, I like her a lot. When I taught art here, there was a Spanish unit where I could create my own curriculum. She was on there with her husband Diego Rivera, you know, Picasso, and all the stuff, but her story, her life, her way, and her artistry are pretty legit and very radical for the time that she lived in. I like it a lot. 

To put this lightly, why are you here? Why come back to Watkins Mill?

Najera: (Laughs) Why am I here? I taught here, and I never stopped having cariño, like loving Watkins Mill, and I tell the story…I’ve said it a million times, right? There is a charm here and a special magic here. The kids here have always been phenomenal. My experience as a teacher here was like an awesome experience. I had nothing but good memories here at Watkins Mill, and I would tell people you know if Watkins Mill ever opened up, I’m going back home, and here I am.

I don’t hear a lot of people say that about WMHS.

Najera: I think they do, I just don’t think they know about us, and that’s where we come in. A lot of great things happen here, and it’s all about putting us out there and highlighting what’s great. We’re doing it little by little, the admin team here, knowing that you guys are social media folks, are sort of putting and highlighting the good stuff and good news on there like I have a Twitter and the Instagram thing I’m not that good at it, but we’re trying to do a better job of highlighting that, like going to events, checking up on all our kids, going in and out of classrooms, watching extracurricular activities, going to sporting events, can’t wait till the play happens, and visiting student organizations I was recently at the MSP meeting. I try to hit up clubs when they meet up.

What do you do when you get here in the mornings? 

Najera: Ask Bud (grabs coffee cup). I try to get here early, sometime between 6:45 and 7:00 am. I like to check my email quietly to make sure you know to answer some stuff I can’t get to all depending on how many I get and try to line up things, talk to Ms. Wilson Carr -Administrative Secretary- about my schedule, then greet students at the lobby when I can, play my jams, and depending on the day like on different days I check in with admin, some students if I need to check in with them too. 

How have the first couple of months of the school year been so far?

Najera: The first couple months of the school year have been fun, I like it. I’m learning more about you [students] all like where you go to lunch, who you hang out with (laughs), and all that. I’m learning about teachers and different things. The flow is seasonal, like the winter season hits differently, so I experience Marking Period 2, when it gets cold, and cool things about the winter season, especially January.

Do you guys plan on expanding the school? Maybe rebuilding some things?

Najera: So there’s a whole process, MCPS has a whole process, and it’s sort of like you’re on a waitlist, and schools that need more attention are at the top of the list, and I think we’re in the middle somewhere because there are some other schools who need more then we do and unless we’re really falling apart at the foundation I think we’re good, but it looks good, it’s a little home here.

How are things going with planning for the seniors specifically?

Najera: I met with some admin and talked about all things seniors. We’re going to map it out for you [the students] because it’s sort of time for you guys to start planning your senior year, like how much things are going to cost, your senior cap, gown, yearbook, prom outfits, graduation, and it all adds up. Senior year is going to be great, it should be your best year with memories, and I’ve been talking to your senior class administrator and sponsor trying to make things fun. You’ll get your shirts and do the panoramic senior pics, it’ll be fun. 

Do you have some final statements for everyone to know about?

Najera: Just that I’m excited. I love The Mill, and I can’t wait to see the greatness within us. I definitely want to tackle this tardiness thing, so I hope it’s working. 

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About the Contributors
Bud Soto
Bud Soto, Staff Writer
Vanessa (Bud) Soto is the oldest of 10 kids, she likes to read, write, and take pictures for the newspaper. Vanessa is on the WMHS Softball team 2nd year in a row. She wants to attend New York University in hopes to get involved in research, and continue her education to someday become a physician.
Huswat Olajide
Huswat Olajide, Editor-in-Chief
Huswat is an IB Career program senior at Watkins Mill High School and Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Current. She is the president of the Minority Scholars Program (MSP). In her spare time, she loves reading, crocheting, listening to music, and watching movies, shows, and K-dramas. She is the captain of varsity field hockey and plays lacrosse as a defender and she loves having fun with her teammates. She plans on going to a four-year university after graduation to pursue a career in the medical field.
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