Principal for a Day: Slater Elementary welcomes the Falcons’ Dave Cohen
As the son of a math teacher, Slater Elementary Principal For a Day Dave Cohen expected to see kids grimacing over equations — and teachers working hard to keep them focused. Instead, he saw students who were eager to answer math questions, guided by teachers who cheered their success.
“There’s a lot of positive energy here,” said Cohen, vice president for sales with the Atlanta Falcons. “It starts with leadership and this is a really good organization that [Principal] Dr. [Selina] Dukes-Walton is running here.”
As regional vice president for sales with the Atlanta Falcons, Cohen knows the value of a strong team — and strong leadership. In his first tour of duty as an APS “principal,” he saw an emphasis on teamwork that extends from the principal’s office to the classrooms.
“At Slater, we have one focus: the students,” said Assistant Principal Wanda Harmon. “We do whatever it takes to promote the success of our students.”
Sometimes promoting academic success means fulfilling student needs that go beyond coursework. Dr. Dukes-Walton showed her acting “principal,” a wardrobe closet filled with warm jackets, pants, belts and other components of the school uniform. The Junior League of Atlanta donated the items, and school administrators carefully monitor growing students, providing resources from the closet when necessary.
“When they walk through our doors, we tell them ‘we’re your parents now,’” Dr. Dukes-Walton said. “They know our expectations and we are consistent.”