The Achaean Times
Meet your Principal: Mrs. McNealMonday, May 07, 2012 By Micah Mercer
Imagine you're teaching a room full of US soldiers who are twenty years older than you in South Korea. You're going over US history and will soon be teaching English so the soldiers can get their high school diplomas. However, just as you are starting to talk about a new topic, alarms go off and all of your students rush out of the room to their stations while you duck and cover. There is shooting going across the border between North and South Korea. This isn't just any scenario -- it actually happened to our very own Janet Harmon McNeal, the principal of Herron High school. She has been in education for about 35 years. Teaching in South Korea was McNeal's first teaching job out of college. “ Several of us from my IU graduation class were recruited to teach military personnel in South Korea,” said McNeal. “It was demanding, but really rewarding.” After returning to the states, she directed high school and community theatre for about twelve years. At springs Valley High School in southern Indiana, she did many plays and musicals of all varieties. “Over their four years of high school, students participated in Shakespearean Tragedies, Modern Comedies, Broadway Musicals, Straight Dramas, Melodramas and more. I honestly loved them all. One of my favorite musicals was Meet Me in Saint Louis . It was an uplifting show, and the students loved the music,” McNeal said While directing high school plays and musicals, she also acted in and directed community and regional professional plays and musicals in southern Indiana and Louisville. “Because of the demands of the community theatre mission, I only directed musicals -- everything from The Sound Of Music, Your A Good Man Charlie Brown, Little Shop of Horrors, and The King and I ,” explained McNeal. She then went onto teach American Literature and Ancient World Literature at Cathedral High School. Cathedral was a very big stepping stone in her education career that helped McNeal get promoted from teacher status to administration status. While at Cathedral, she worked her way up from simple teacher to Honors Director and Academic Dean. She also took the 3 advanced placement courses at Cathedral and multiplied it to 21 advanced placement courses. On top of that, she led the research and implement team for Cathedrals International Baccalaureate Program.