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The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

A Day in the Life of Darren Rasmussen

Rylee Novak
Principal Darren Rasmussen poses for a photo by the auditorium doors.

Burke High School’s principal Darren Rasmussen or as students like to call him D-Rass, has a busy day-to day-schedule.When he arrives at 6:30 a.m. he typically checks his email, looks at his calendar, then makes his way out to the front entrance to greet students coming in for the day. After the halls get cleared out, Rasmussen likes to be out and about in the building, popping into classrooms and taking pictures for the weekly newsletter he sends out.

His infamous cart started at Bryan Middle School where Rasmussen was a dean.

 “The administrative offices were pretty far away from some of the hallways and some of the classrooms, and I felt like I was going back and forth too much to my office and the hallway,” Rasmussen said. “So, I found this cart at Bryan Middle School and started to use it in the hallways.”

Rasmussen even decorated his cart with a roll of tape to put falling posters back up, and to hold his Diet Pepsis so they don’t fall. He also has his planner and laptop so he can swiftly answer emails during the day. During the pandemic, Rasmussen attached a battery powered hand sanitizer dispenser that still lives on the side of his cart.

Rasmussen likes to be in the front entrance between 7:00 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.. Available for students and staff to talk to him, or just to tell him how their morning is going.

“I like the front door because I like to see the kids come in the building every day. I like to see, you know, the kind of moods they’re in, if they look like they’re not having a good day or just saying ‘hi’ to them, then I just like to be around,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen also likes to stand in front of the bathrooms along with other administrators because of the number of kids that use the bathroom and with the recent fire alarms in the last year.

“Unfortunately, we have to spend a lot of time in the restrooms because we just have kids that like to use the restrooms an unusually large amount of times throughout the day. We’ve had some fire alarms go off in restrooms because of vapes. So, I like to park around some restrooms throughout the day and kind of monitor those if security is not available,” Rasmussen said.

Lots of crazy things happen at school but there are a couple of events that have stood out to Rasmussen.

 “I guess it could go back to a couple of years ago, where I found, I don’t know if it was a bunch of hair extensions or if it was a wig, and I picked that up off of the floor because it was being kicked around, so when I picked it up everyone thought that there was some big fight, and I had the hair of the person that lost their hair in an altercation. And everybody was taking pictures of this hair that I had in my hand, so I guess that was a crazy event,” Rasmussen said.

On the east side of the building there was also an accident involving a bus.

“We have a bus driver after school that thought he hit the brake, but he hit the gas and he crashed into our industrial tech area and crashed into the pillar and were still waiting for that to get repaired,” Rasmussen said.

The school generally has a nice campus, but Rasmussen dedicates many days out of the year to make it more visually appealing for students, parents and staff members.

 “I walked up the activity entrance area and I noticed that it just wasn’t very inviting when you come in through that entrance,” Rasmussen said. “So, one of the first things that I did was put landscaping in the area over by the activity center then I put up a Bulldog graphic on that maintenance building that’s kind of between the pool and the activity entrance so it’s more inviting. We added a memorial boulder for Lois Hynek that is lit up at night.”

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that he cares so much about the building and how it looks.

 “I’m an outdoors person, so I’m always looking to improve the way our grounds look,” Rasmussen said. “I’ve added different graphics in different parts of the building. You’ll notice the graphics outside in the main hallways and you can come in to see Burke Bulldogs, and ‘Loyalty, Integrity, and Honor’.”

There are some days where the administrators are constantly running around and Rasmussen always tries to make sure he is aware and available for any instance big or small.

“Last year, we had some students that weren’t getting along with each other. So, we had a couple of different altercations at different parts of the day. So those days are when you’re really just, you’re out and you’re handling things that are going on,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen plans to add more graphics around the school and hopefully brighten up the hallways. They have also added more security over the last 2 years and have about 160 cameras around the school.

 “We can pretty much see every area inside of our building and outside of our building so we can monitor our cameras pretty well. We want our students to know that they can trust an adult if they see something they should say something to an adult so that we can be safe,” Rasmussen said.



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About the Contributor
Rylee Novak, Reporter
Senior Ryee Novak is beginning her first year on the newspaper staff. In Rylee's free time she loves to read, do coloring books, and is a professional ice cream scooper. After she graduates she plans on attending college. Her word of the year is slay.

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