When you are a principal with 237 people under your care (157 teachers and 80 staff members) it is crucial that you intentionally create opportunities for fun and connection. This is why principal Tim Liles of Sunnyside High School in Fresno, CA came up with the idea of Nacho Friday.
At Sunnyside, a different department hosts an all staff lunchtime nacho party on the first Friday of each month. Tim provides the chips and cheese and department members bring the rest of the toppings. The tradition has caught on and often the hosting department will add to the fun with themed decorations and music. Nacho Fridays have become a time for each department to welcome their colleagues into their space and share who they are and what they do.
Nacho Fridays provide an easy, low-stress way for staff members on this large campus to meet and hang out with other school employees who they otherwise rarely encounter. As it turns out, people are very willing to walk all the way across campus for a free nacho party! With no agenda other than enjoying the food and each other, people laugh, tell stories, relax and get to know and appreciate people and parts of the school outside of where they work. It’s a fun way to build positive school culture and a spirit of teamwork amongst the teachers and staff.
As Tim says, a little nacho cheese goes a long way!