Strike up the Band: Paroubek Shifts from Band to School leader


Kayden Frank, Staff Writer

New year, new assistant principal? Chardon Middle School is under new rule by the former band director Tracy Paroubek. She began has been directing the band in Chardon for 15 years, but over the summer Paroubek was promoted to the Assistant Principal position. Paroubek answered a few questions about her transition from Band Director to Assistant Principal.

When asked why she wanted to be principal, Paroubek said “I always wanted to try an administration role for most of her career, I just thought my skills from being a band director made me think I’d be successful in the role.“

A few of the things she enjoys about her new role are her being able to be in every classroom and seeing the kids in different settings instead of just the band room. She also gets to interact with her colleagues a lot more because she’s not confined to a single classroom. Paroubek added that one of the hardest things is her being used to having long periods of time to work on projects, but as an Assistant Principal, her day could change at any given moment.

Some of her goals for the upcoming years are to qualify for the PBIS gold recognition, which means there’s a lot of behavior advancements in place for the students. One of her personal goals is to interact more with the fourth-graders since she didn’t have any classes with them as the band director.

In the last few board meetings, there have been heated discussions about masks being mandated or not, in response to this Paroubek did not want to share her opinion on it. The hardest part of her job is that everything revolves around COVID. Some of the more enjoyable parts for her are connecting with students and staff.

“It’s so fun to see everyone throughout the day in various places and social situations, and interact with them.”

When questioned about some of the challenges teaching during the COVID pandemic she said, “Trying to teach band class online was very difficult, pretty much impossible. You never knew if one of the students made a mistake while playing, or if they were even playing at all since they were not playing as one group in the same room. When Covid precautions and responses are the first considerations that go into any decision regarding teaching and learning, it takes away from the many other important decisions that go into running a school, classroom, or building relationships with students.  I think at CMS we have done an amazing job of continuing to build relationships with students and parents, and our teachers did our virtual weeks last year so seamlessly, that those relationships never stopped, and we are on solid footing from the aspect of the challenge.  It makes it so much easier to make sure our students are learning and thriving at school this year.”

“If I had to change one thing about Chardon, it wouldn’t be Chardon anymore, you know?”

If Paroubek had the chance to have a higher position, such as being a board member or superintendent, she said not right now.

“I feel like I still have a lot to learn about being an administrator, maybe in the future though.”

In response to being asked how she deals with her responsibilities, Paroubek said she feels like she has really good time management skills. She has what she calls the “Two Minute Rule,” which is if she has something that she can get done in 2 minutes or less, she makes it her top priority. But if there’s a person in front of her or a kid situation, that automatically goes to the top of the priority list over anything else. Some problems Paroubek feels need to be dealt with in the school are the virtual kids feeling comfortable in the school and that they are academically prepared for in-person school.

If she could go back to being a band teacher she said, “I wouldn’t go back to being a band teacher at the current moment, maybe someday. I miss hearing the music every day and being able to create with the kids. A few of the pieces I enjoyed playing with the kids were called ‘Dark Adventure’ and ‘Shackleford Banks.’”