PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — At Eden Hall Upper Elementary School in Richland Township, the newest student is also the oldest.

The tables, or make that the desks, have been turned, as principal Stephen Smith attends a full day of school.

“We’re building relationships with kids,” he explains. “What would it be like for us to experience the same thing? But even take it a step further and start at the bus stop, and take the school bus to school.”

Teachers encourage the new “student,” though classmates are just a bit wary.

“You kind of thought of him as a new kid in the class,” says fifth grader Asher Harrington. “But you knew he is also your principal, so you didn’t want to screw up in front of him.”

“He didn’t raise his hand much,” fifth grader Ava Rosenwasser adds. “He did his homework, though.

Teacher Lindsey Hobaugh says the “new guy” fit right in.

“He did have a lot of participation. I don’t think I heard his voice singing over the others when we were singing the social studies song. There’s always room for improvement, but he’s up there with the rest of them.”

It’s not every day they see their principal wearing jeans. Mr. Smith is a student in every way but one. The kids still can’t call him “Steve.”

He and the kids do have one thing in common.

“One of my favorite parts of the day is recess,” says the principal.

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