Sawyer Backman, 11 & Eric Backman, Principal
April 2, 2016
Q: How is it for you two to spend so much time together?
Eric: I can’t speak for Sawyer, but she is really easy to be around.
Sawyer: Yeah, and he never really gets mad, so he’s really easy.
E: We have a lot of shared interests, like —
Both: Mountain biking.
E: Music is another, for sure. We’re both into school in different ways. But as much as a principal could enjoy principal-ling, that’s me. Sawyer enjoys school; for the most part, she likes it here.
Q: Are there downsides to working/ going to school together?
S: Dances! I personally don’t like going to a dance where my dad is one of the chaperones; it’s not super fun. I’m really bummed that he’s going to be at my prom, maybe you should get sick for my prom [hinting at Mr. Backman]…
E: That’s one of the drawbacks, since those are events that I have to go to. I do my best to respect Sawyer’s space, like at the last dance we both went separately —
S: Same car though.
E: I made it a point to stay on the periphery of the dance, and I asked administrators to do most of the monitoring in respect for her. It’s something I can’t avoid, particularly prom.
Q: Sawyer, how has being the principal’s daughter affected your social life?
S: I have always had friends that don’t get into trouble. They would never be like, “Oh, your Dad busted me for something.” So I’m glad about that because that would be awkward. The thing is that some of my friends will be like “Hey, where is your Dad? I need him to sign something.”
E: Sawyer has great friends who, without exception, are doing well in school and are always respectful, good friends to her.
S: I think it’s weird for my friends when they have a sleepover at my house to see my dad outside of work. Like when he’s making breakfast or something they’ll be like, “Hi, Mr. Backman.” So I think that’s a weird aspect for my friends.
Q: Mr. Backman, do you have a say in who Sawyer dates?
S: Not very much.
E: No. I really respect Sawyer’s judgment in her choice of friends and people she dates. That has never been an issue between us; I respect who Sawyer chooses to spend time with.
Q: Finally, what are the benefts of working/ going to school together?
E: We are both morning people and it gives us a little bit of time; it’s like ten minutes, but we get to eat breakfast and drive to school together. I would say the father-daughter time we have every morning in the car is great.
Interview and Photos by Desiree Champagne-Terrell and Tessa Hughes