Good with kids, not adults

A Marsh parent’s take on her child’s principal

Sloan’s last stand?<br>Principal Jeff Sloan presided over last week’s graduation rehearsal at Marsh Junior High.

Sloan’s last stand?
Principal Jeff Sloan presided over last week’s graduation rehearsal at Marsh Junior High.

Photo By Tom Angel

Julie Nasr, a parent of a Marsh Junior High School student, likes to tell the story of the first time she met Jeff Sloan.

The meeting took place at a neighbor’s holiday dinner party. The adults were at one table, and seven children, who did not all know each other, were sitting uncomfortably at another table.

Nasr sat near Sloan and was exposed for the first time to what she describes as his “arrogance.”

Before long, though, Sloan quietly left the adults’ table and went and sat with the kids for the rest of the dinner. As Nasr recalls it, Sloan had the kids introduce themselves, and before long they were laughing and enjoying the evening.

“It touched me,” Nasr said.

Still, she continued to have reservations about Sloan but eventually decided to enroll her daughter, Clare, at Marsh.

“Jeff comes across as quite arrogant, and he talks about himself a lot” at back-to-school nights and in school newsletters, Nasr said.

But Nasr said her daughter has thrived at Marsh and that Clare can hardly wait each morning to head off to school, where she is often greeted by Sloan at the entrance with, “Good morning, Clare Nasr.”

Nasr also remembers one day when she was quite busy and had an appointment to see Sloan. She said she was irritated to be kept waiting outside his office while he dealt with a student.

“He told me, ‘I’m sorry, but children come before adults,'” Nasr recalls. “I found that quite pleasant.”

Even though Sloan is “not the easiest person to sit with at times,” Nasr has come to admire his ability to inspire students and teachers.

“I think the same arrogance that was offensive to me carries over into the excellence of that school,” she said. “What makes him not a fabulous dinner party partner makes him a fabulous principal.”—D.W.