From the time she arrived at her 7 a.m. pre-calculus class, student Taylor Loth couldn't seem to lose the enthusiastic blond woman who followed her around, sitting in on all her classes at Lakeville North High School on Wednesday.
But that was all part of the plan. Loth, a junior, entered and won a Facebook contest that offered one student a chance to be shadowed by Lakeville Superintendent Lisa Snyder for the day.
The idea, Snyder said, was to see what a real day was like for a high school student. Snyder live tweeted about the experience, using the hashtag #adayinthelife.
Snyder was "a very pleasant woman to be around," said Loth, who had never met or seen the superintendent before.
Still, "It was a little weird," Loth added. "My friends are looking at me from across the room like, 'Who's that woman?'"
Snyder said high school students were "awesome to be around" and she loved being able to drink coffee in class, something she couldn't do at high school in the late 1970s. She also liked the respect she saw between students and teachers.
"[Lakeville North High School] teachers know how to engage and motivate students with a variety of instruction and movement, but I hated the hard desks and crowded rooms," Snyder said.
She noted that students in several classes completed work on their phones, tablets or laptops, but didn't abuse the privilege. "The only person who forgot to silence their phone was me!" Snyder said.
The experience was beneficial so adults can see how much high school has changed, from the challenging classes to activities after school, Loth said. For her, that means cross country, track and speech team.
Snyder agreed: "Above all else, though, I got to experience the high expectations we have for students. On top of Taylor's highly rigorous schedule, she participates in sports and activities for two to three hours per day. After that she has homework and usually doesn't get to bed until 11 p.m.."
Loth, who said her favorite class is choir and hardest is chemistry, happened to have three tests on Wednesday.
"I really felt for her," said Snyder. "Just imagine the studying she had to do to be ready for three high-level tests in one day!"