Three Difficult Years

Three Difficult Years

By Caitlyn Kirby 

Outside of the building, his phone rings every hour with another thing that needs to be handled. When he is at home, it’s hard to keep his school life separate. 

But during school hours, he has the opposite problem. He rarely feels connected enough with students. 

Mr. Christopher Conley says that the past three years have stuck out as being the most stressful of his career as principal of Delta. 

“Not sure if it’s Covid, political stuff, or just the way society is today, but it seems like things aren’t quite as smooth as they were before,” Conley says. 

This is his 11th year as principal, making him the longest-serving person to hold the position in Delta High School history. He is the only one who has had to keep up with the typical responsibilities of being principal while also going through a pandemic.

Conley says that students don’t talk to administrators as much as they did in the past. 

“I think part of it falls on me. I just have to do a better job of being out there for kids,” Conley says. 

Conley hits tennis ball for the first time
Principal Mr. Chris Conley hits a tennis ball for first time at the 2022 Trunk or Treat. (Photo provided)

 Conley has four children; Shane, Krisha, Brayton, and Evan. His wife is Anissa Conley. With his youngest, Evan, graduating in 2021, it has become harder for Conley to keep up with his personal and family life amidst the chaos.

Conley says the older his children get, the harder it is to find time for them. When they went to school here it was easier because he could go to their ball games or band concerts while already at the school, but now they’re not. 

“He is almost always tired, especially in the longer stretches of school we have without breaks,” says his oldest son Mr. Shane Conley, who teaches special services and coaches football and track and field at Delta.

Covid added multiple things to Chris Conley’s to-do list. Reporting case numbers to the state and contact tracing are just a couple examples. 

Conley says there are many lasting issues stemming from the time we missed for Covid. There are more missing and late assignments because students were used to extra time and leniency. More absences because students are used to staying home and parents are used to letting them. 

“We keep thinking it’s going to get back to what it used to be and it’s not,” Conley says. 

Thinking back to the class of 2019, Conley remembers them as a bunch of goofballs their freshman year. But by the time they graduated they would’ve done anything the administration asked of them. 

“At graduation, they just all stopped and looked at me until I said you can go and then they all threw their hats,” Conley says. “That was right before Covid, so that’s the memory I have of what normal is.”

Conley says that students could make his days a little less stressful by simply being more engaged with their teachers and administration. He says there should be relationships that students develop with their peers and teachers that will help them in the future. 

“School shouldn’t be just a place where we come and spend eight hours together and then go home,” Conley says. “There should be things that they enjoy.” 

Despite all the complaining that can be done, Conley says this is a great school. Delta is a school with plenty of activities that kids can get involved in, great academic offerings, and teachers who go above and beyond for students. 

His son Shane says that all the extra work his dad has put in is designed to help students be successful now and in the future. 

“He genuinely loves the students here at Delta,” Shane says. 

December 15, 2022

About Author

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caitlynkirby Caitlyn Kirby is a junior at Delta High School, and this is her second year in newspaper. She is planning on being a journalist in the future, so writing is one of her favorite hobbies. She plays tennis and does cheer at Delta. In her free time, she loves to drive around with no destination, scroll through Tiktok, or go to the gym.


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