The Roundabout Model


For those attending Carmel in person during this pandemic year, many are aware of the lengthy announcements former English teacher and current principal Jason Huther often makes, whether in the morning, between classes, or on CDN. What students don’t realize is that he records these announcements and adds them to his newest project–the next great American novel.


Huther’s up-and-coming novel The Roundabout Model features personal anecdotes from the daily life of Mr. Huther–the man, the myth, the legend–principal of Carmel Catholic High School. When he is not busy crafting his next announcement speech or writing emails to the students and families of Carmel, Huther is putting together the chapters to his novel to send to Penguin Random House publishing company. 


In an exclusive interview, Huther shared his in-depth writing process. 


“The first thing I do when deciding what to add to my book is create an informative announcement that reflects the values of Carmel Catholic,” Huther said. “I often try to make them as lengthy as possible because I want my book to be a huge success, and the greatest novels in history are never short on words.”


Some of Huther’s favorite topics to cover are about social distancing, cell phone awareness, and using the roundabout model. 


“Last summer, I was driving to the grocery store and pondering how the school would proceed in person through this difficult time while maintaining adequate distance. Upon reaching the store, I approached a roundabout in the road, and it immediately hit me that this would be the solution to my problem,” Huther said. 


He realized that in order to keep the school going, it would be important to treat the school as if it was a major roadway, as many students are driving. He felt this would be a great analogy to connect with his students and better help them pass their driving tests. After discussing this idea with the staff, he was convinced that this would be greatly beneficial for the public to read and become inspired by his own courage in being a pandemic principal. 


Huther titled his book The Roundabout Model, based on the roundabout on the way to a Jewel Osco. He describes not only the safety protocols Carmel has been following this school year, but also the funniest hallway fails he has witnessed while watching the video cameras in order to ensure social distancing. One of his chapters, arguably one of the best-written so far, details the life of a Huther post-school day as he lounges in his office watching hallway bloopers. 


“Watching when freshmen are walking through the hallway and suddenly stop in the middle is my favorite part of the job because the look of pure aggravation on the faces of the stressed upperclassmen behind them is priceless” Huther wrote. 


Huther hopes to finish his book by the end of the school year, so he can begin the laborious process of editing over his summer break. Once published, Huther plans to add his new novel, estimated to be between 10,000 and 50,000 pages, to the student handbook, where all freshmen will be required to read it.