10-02-2014 - Dorell Wright - Principal for a Day at Leuzinger High School
Principal for A Day
Dorell Wright - Class of 2004
September 12, 2014
Jillian Marshall jumped on a chair in Leuzinger High School’s courtyard to see over a crowd of other students surrounding Portland Trail Blazers player Dorell Wright, an alumnus who served as Principal for a Day on Friday.
His presence electrified the Lawndale campus.
“Let me get a picture of his smile real quick,” Marshall said, holding a cellphone up to the 28-year-old Portland Trail Blazers player.
Another student, Victoria Fakava, momentarily stopped swooning to discuss Wright’s visit.
“We think that he’s a good role model because people think Leuzinger is a downgraded school,” Fakava said. “But he paved the way. So it doesn’t matter what school you go to, you can still make it.”
Principal Michael Ono kept charge behind-the-scenes while the basketball star read announcements and visited classrooms throughout the day.
During morning announcements, Wright sat at Ono’s desk and read a script broadcast across campus:
“Good morning Leu House, I am honored to return to my roots as Principal for a Day,” Wright said. “Just a reminder: Please be on time. Time is money. You can’t get any money if you’re late. You cannot learn what you need if you are not here.
“Please don’t forget the pillars of spirit: successful, pride, integrity, respect, inspired and trust. I’d also like to send a special shout out to the volleyball squad for sweeping Inglewood High School this week.”
As a student, Wright said he was never sent to the principal’s office for being in trouble because he was focused on playing basketball and advancing his career.
“A lot of people cast doubt on us as far as being able to make it out of here,” Wright said. “But this is just for the kids to see and know that, if they work hard or study hard, they can get out of here.”
Freshman Jimmy Bas chatted briefly with Wright, and said he’s looking forward to telling his brother — a fan — about the conversation.
“(Wright) asked me what sport I play and I told him football,” Bas said. “He said to keep it up. I’m happy because I finally got a chance to talk to a famous person.”