Principal takes on multiple tasks amid staffing shortage at local elementary school

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Have you ever heard of a principal cleaning school toilets or stripping floors?

At Gwendolyn Woolley Elementary school in North Las Vegas, that’s what principal Josephy Uy is doing in the midst of being short-staffed.

“We’ve had staffing shortage even before COVID,” he says.

Uy is taking one for the team knowing how much needs to get done, and not having the staff to do it, he isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty.

“Here at Woolley, we try to instill the all-hands-on-deck mentality. Next man up kind of thing so when we were short-staffed with custodial,” he adds. “I asked my head custodian, what do you want me to do. What can I do? And so he said, I’ll need help stripping the floor and waxing and I said show me one and I’ll do the rest.”

Uy is gaining national attention from CBS News who came to Las Vegas to talk to him about stepping up in this time of need.

He says helping out like this may seem unconventional as a principal, but to him, it’s truly what his role at Woolley is all about.

“If I expect my custodian to do that then I should be able to clean toilets and help in the cafeteria. At the same token in the classroom. I’ve hit the classroom teaching because we were short of subs,” he says. “I wanted to improve the climate and the culture in this school and in doing that, I think our teachers are able to teach our students at a level I want them to be at.”

Gwendolyn Woolley Elementary has close to 600 students currently enrolled and is a Pre-Kindergarten through 5th-grade public school.

They are currently looking for more substitute teachers, bus drivers, and custodians to join their team.

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