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The City Journals

Principal Goes the Extra Mile to Enrich Students’ Holidays

Jan 26, 2016 12:27PM ● By Aimee L Cook

 By Aimee L. Cook | [email protected]

South Jordan - The students at Elk Meadows Elementary have come to expect a special ‘visitor’ in their school around certain holidays. Principal Aaron Ichimura chooses a costume themed appropriate for the upcoming holiday and visits each classroom to offer safety tips, read a book and visit with the students. 

“During Halloween, I dress up in a silly costume and read a Halloween picture book story to each class in our school. I like to remind students of safe trick-or-treating practices during this time, and if I have enough time, ask them what they are dressing up as,” Ichimura said. “I make a sign-up sheet for teachers to sign up for a time I can visit with their classes, but do not require it of them. During December, I dress up like an elf, an Asian Santa, or this year a snowman, and classes can sign up to come visit with me in front of our office so I can read them a Christmas story. I like to discuss what we look forward to most and love about winter recess.”

Ichimura adopted the idea from principal Shelly Davis at Butterfield Canyon Elementary when he was her assistant. He enjoyed it so much he worked it into his routine when he became principal at Elk Meadows. Students look forward to seeing what costume Ichimura will arrive in.

“My students love to have Mr. Ichimura read to them especially since he is usually in costume,” Mrs. Kimball, kindergarten teacher, said. “I think this tradition of visiting all the classes around the holidays is beneficial to the students, because it allows them to become familiar with the principle in a positive light.  All of the kindergarten students talk about it afterwards and they are always excited when they see Mr. Ichimura in the hall.”