Mr. Carter’s message for the upcoming school year

A NEW YEAR: Principal Carter welcomes students back to campus for the upcoming semester. San Clemente Times

AJ Cabagbag | Student Life Editor

September 2, 2022

As the new 2022-23 school year begins, students are excited to get back into the flow of classes, campus activities, and sports games. With a new established disciplinary system and opening for the first time since 2019 without enforced safety protocol, San Clemente High school looks toward our wonderful teachers and staff for guidance, especially our beloved principal, Mr. Carter.

I sat down with Principal Carter to inquire about his expectations, advice, and words of encouragement for this upcoming school year.

After two months of summer break, Principal Carter was delighted for his students to return back to campus. During his summer, he found himself congratulating his eldest on graduating college, helping his son move back into university for his sophomore year, as well as taking a family vacation to Costa Rica. Despite doing all of this, Carter actually worked throughout the summer to prepare the staff, plan the new schedule, and implement more learning-focused approaches for this upcoming school year. 

Principal Carter said “I took a couple breaks here and there just for vacation, but I’m here all summer…I enjoyed this summer being here, so we can kind of just slowly get things ready to go for this school year.”

Principal Carter speaks with incoming freshmen as they get to explore the campus during orientation. San Clemente Times

However, as we shift back into the flow of school and academics, many find themselves overwhelmed with the transition. Carter encourages those who resonate with this chaos to involve themselves more with the school: “What I would recommend to everybody feeling this is to get involved as much as you can and use the resources that we have on our campus… We have a lot of opportunities to get really immersed into our school… I always encourage everyone to leave with no regrets, and to leave with no regrets means to take advantage of all the activities we had to offer and the experiences that came with it.”

With the unpredictability of our last couple school years, Carter realizes that “there’s a lot of opportunity, and it can be taken away from us anytime,” so being able to appreciate it while we still have it will help build a more connected campus that embraces those who may find themselves in need of that welcoming environment. 

While the students are generally overjoyed with the re-opening, some have expressed their concerns regarding the new discipline system, finding its rules and penalties to be more strict than usual. While arguable, Carter offers the perspective of the school board and staff: “In the beginning of slowly re-opening during COVID, we didn’t press for much discipline because we were just happy kids were back!” However, with the previous protocol put off to the side, “we saw a lot of people taking advantage of the leniency… people crowding bathrooms and damaging school property… students leaving classrooms unannounced and a lot of tardies unpunished.” Because of this, the school took it upon themselves to re-enforce pre-existing disciplinary approaches with an “intentionality towards learning.” For example, tutorials are now geared towards “instructional minutes,” where students can group by subject to study and do work.

Overall, Principal Carter just hopes for a school year full of fun, safety, and personal connection. “We lost that part of communication and connection the past few years…and we hope to bring it back safely and appropriately within our campus.”

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