The Odyssey of a Dean

Kiera Fitzpatrick, Editor-in-Chief

In Greek mythology, everything has a Greek god. Now, so does Wantagh High School. We hear his voice booming down the halls, and we feel a sense of unfamiliarity not seeing Mr. Lebel. Our new dean of discipline, Mr. Odysseas Svolos, has been seen and heard around the halls this year.

Nine years ago, when applying for a job here as a teacher, Mr. Svolos was asked by Mr. Lebel where he saw himself in ten years. His reply? “In your position.” Besides being prophetical, he’s balancing the position of the dean and a teacher. Contradicting himself, he says it’s stressful and relaxing. The classroom, he said, is his place to relax and be himself. He loves working with kids, before deciding to teach, he was going to be a pediatrician, graduating tenth in his class in Stonybrook.

This year, he hopes to enforce the rules that have been overlooked in past years. Cell phone use, dress code, and senior parking are all on his list. The woman we all see sitting at the desk in the lobby, Mary Barile, had a lot to say about Mr. Svolos. Wholeheartedly she explained to me that he, not only, is a great dean, but also helps her out by scaring the “kiddies” out of the lobby when they should be in class. “He’s a really well-liked dean, and I’m excited for the upcoming years with him.” Though, that does go without saying.

Mr. Svolos hopes to be more involved and wants to interact with the kids more. So far, mission accomplished. By rarely being in his office when we’re in the hallways, he makes himself known. He’s there in the morning when you step off the buses, and he’s glad to see you out and wait in the lobby for you to leave at 2:18.

All Greek gods must have pastimes, right? Mr. Svolos is no different. When asked what he does outside of school, he replied with a huge smile on his face and said “just being with my kids is great, I love them and spending as much time as I can with them at home.” He coaches track and soccer. His favorite sports team is the Yankees, sorry Mets fans.

By the way, I asked which Greek god he’d be, excluding Zeus and himself (we all know what his answer would be otherwise.) He thought for a moment before responding, chuckled, and said Ares, “God of war, but I’d try and keep the peace.”