As principal of Ridgecrest High School in Paragould, John Shewmaker has made it a personal goal to "develop a culture of mutual respect and a tone of decency." The philosophy of the Coalition of Essential Schools has had a profound effect on Mr. Shewmaker’s decisions as an educational leader. By adapting the Coalition’s model, with its emphasis on student-centered learning and block scheduling, Mr. Shewmaker has been instrumental in guiding his school through a major reform. The plan he has implemented, known as the Copernican Plan, has improved the student/teacher ratio, increased the honor role roster and given teachers a greater role in curriculum development. Through his involvement with civic groups, the ministerial alliance and members from the business sector, Mr. Shewmaker involves the community in the school’s future as well as its present.