Naperville Central principal and band director swap jobs for a day


Nathan Yuan, News Editor

Naperville Central Principal Bill Wiesbrook and Director of Bands DJ Alstadt swapped jobs on Dec. 14. Alstadt spent his day shadowing classes, sitting in meetings and listening to parent opinions. Wiesbrook followed Alstadt’s regular schedule.

The swap came after an end-of-year faculty meeting, when teachers were given the opportunity to spin a wheel and win some prizes. Among the available prizes were to take two weeks off of supervision, getting out of proctoring a test and other things that are normally never given away in a normal year, Alstadt said.

“I think that our administration realized that they needed to create a special experience for our team,” Alstadt said. “And I just happened to win the golden ticket.”

After getting to school and parking in the principal’s parking spot, Alstadt started his day with some coffee and a walk.

“When I pulled up, and I got out of my van, it was almost a sense of, oh my goodness, this is really happening,” Alstadt said. “I started off [by] making some coffee, and [then] I got to walk around the school. I got just one day of a 10,000 foot view. It was really neat to see how all areas of the entire team of leadership work together here in the North Central.”

As neat as it was, however, Alstadt wouldn’t want to stay principal for too long, he said.

“I really respect what the leaders of our communities do, but I am definitely in the right spot for me,” Alstadt said. “I count to four, my alphabet stops at G, And I get to do what I’ve honestly loved since I was a little kid, that is making [and] playing music. And I’ve got some really exceptional kids to serve at our school. So am I in the right spot? Absolutely.”

Wiesbrook’s day looked a little different.

“My day started out in the cafeteria with one of the jazz bands and they did a little pop up performance in the cafeteria,” Wiesbrook said. “I had a microphone and I introduced their pieces and we read in a script that [Alstadt] gave me and that’s how my day started. And then I went down to his room and space and office area. And [Alstadt] left lesson plans and I followed them.”

Wiesbrook’s goal was to do no harm, he said.

“I felt more like a substitute teacher than I did a band director,” Wiesbrook said. “I don’t think I did any harm, but I certainly don’t have a background or any experience to contribute.”

Wiesbrook also felt the swap was beneficial.

“I think it is helpful and healthy to sprinkle some fun into what we do.”