ASHAWAY — When 10-year-old Buse Koseoglu won the holiday basket raffle back in December to become Ashaway Elementary School’s principal for a day, she began planning right away.
“She has the whole day planned,” principal Jeffrey Scanapieco said. “This is something she’s wanted to do since she’s been a kindergartener here. She’s just so happy that she won. She seems to be on point, prepared and ready for today.”
Buse arrived, accompanied by her mother, Ebru, and took charge of the principal’s walkie-talkie, a large ring of keys and Scanapieco's black leather chair.
“You’re going to have to make some decisions today,” Scanapieco told her. “You’ll see what I do.”
Ebru, who was busy snapping pictures of her daughter, said Buse had been waiting for this day since the raffle.
“She was ready since the bazaar,” she said. “She was waiting for today … I’m more excited than her.”
Buse said she was prepared to take over.
"I feel like I’m not a student anymore,” she said.
After the morning assembly, Buse said she planned to get her fellow students up from their desks and moving.
“Around 10 o’clock I’m going to do a dancing hour, like, stop, drop and just dance,” she said. “Then I’m going to do extra recess, like 25 minutes. And some of my friends I want in my office for lunch … I’m not going to make any big changes. Just a fun day.”
Buse conceded that being the full-time principal was probably not as much fun as assuming the role for just one day.
“You have to call people’s parents if they’re being bad,” she said.
Buse’s first order of business was greeting her fellow students as they got off their buses. Then she presided over the morning assembly with a poise that didn’t go unnoticed by the teachers at the back of the room.
“She looks like she was born for the job,” teacher Clare Ornburn said.
Scanapieco, who started the principal for a day tradition six years ago, said the experience helped both students and administrators appreciate each others' perspectives.
“It gives students an opportunity to see what the job entails and also lets students see it from a different perspective,” he said. “Some of the things they do are things that I don’t typically think of because they’re children coming up with the ideas. It gives me a good insight as to what they’re thinking.”