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Principal's Message

  • Stuart Caldwell

    Lathrop Letter, July 2, 2018

    Hello Spartans,

    We are solidly in the midst of summer and a lot is happening to get our school ready for a new school year.  I wanted to take a few moments to bring some of those things to your attention.

    First, we have a new principal.  Yes, that’s me.  I want to take a few moments to introduce myself to you.  I am a proud Santa Ana resident and have been for over 30 years.  I am coming to Lathrop after having spent the last two years as principal at Spurgeon.  I am very excited to be taking the helm of the flagship intermediate school in Santa Ana.  Yes, I say “flagship” as our little intermediate school has the longest history among the intermediate schools in Santa Ana.  We occupy the most central location and have seen more students travel through our doors than any other intermediate school in our city (and than most in the county).  Remember, Lathrop first opened its doors in 1924.  I couldn’t be more excited to be taking the helm of such a prestigious and centrally located intermediate school. 

    So you know a bit about me.  My priorities are simple.  In life I am a father first.  I have two children, a son who is going into 8th grade and a daughter who will be a junior this coming year.  As with most parents my kids come first.  As a principal I understand that our students come first for their parents.  We work best when we work in partnership with our parents to help our students to succeed.  Next I am a teacher.  The hardest and most rewarding work in our schools happens in our classrooms.  My job as principal is to support that work so that we maximize our students’ opportunities to learn and excel.  All of the collective energy of the adults at Lathrop is, and will continue to be focused upon exactly that, “maximizing our students’ opportunities to learn and excel.” 

    Equation for Success:  Next, I believe that the equation for success in intermediate school, and life, is pretty simple.  Here it is:  First, we have to show up every day and on time.  We cannot succeed in school (or life) if we are not present.  Second, Do the work, all of it (both classwork and homework).  This doesn’t mean that everyone has to get all of the work right all of the time.  In fact, when students make mistakes this actually provides good information for our teachers.  Those mistakes help us to figure out what we need to work on with our kids.  To help us to tailor our learning efforts effectively we need our kids to be doing their best on their work, all of it, always.  Finally, and most importantly, we have to treat each other with kindness.  Life is hard enough.  By treating each other with kindness we create environments where it is safe to be ourselves, to learn and to grow together. 

    So, the equation for success, in school and life is: 1) Show up, 2) Do the work, and 3) Be kind with each other.  I cannot claim to have developed this equation on my own, but I can say, without a doubt, that if we do these things we will have a great experience at Lathrop!

    Just like our kids will be learning and trying new things this year, our teachers will be doing so as well.  We all learn together.  Often that learning takes place at different paces (both for the adults and the kids alike).  Core to our work as teachers (and every adult who works with kids is a teacher) is to constantly be purveyors of hope.  As our kids make mistakes, as we make mistakes, we must always be looking to ways that we can learn from those mistakes rather than assessing blame or passing judgments.  Being a purveyor of hope, for me, means that we look to each other’s strengths and how we can build upon them.  Caring about each other is core to who we all are and how we interact.  Seeing the potential in each other, and figuring out how to tap and build upon that potential, is also core to our work. 

    I love living in Santa Ana.  I love coming to Spurgeon each day, as we get ready for the new school year.  There is lots of work to do to help our students to learn and to grow.  The good news here is that we know what that work is and that, together, we have the ability, the will and the commitment to do that work.  I am proud to be your principal at Lathrop Intermediate School.

    Work in our Building:  Our custodians, staff and others have been working hard to get our building and classrooms ready for the new school year.  Things have never looked better. 

    Wellness Center:  We opened a new district Wellness Center.  You may have seen information on the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that took place on June 15, 2018.  More information on the services available at our Wellness Center will be forthcoming.  We are proud to be able to house this facility on our campus but we know that it is available for all. 

    New Staff:  We will have four new teachers joining us, for the 2018 – 2019 school year.  Three of those new teachers will be in our science department and one will be in our Mild/Moderate special education program.  I will be asking each of them to provide a brief personal biography on their school webpage. 

    Summer Programs:  We have had 96 students participate in enrichment activities on our campus this summer and 50 students served by our Engage 360 program throughout the summer. 

    Lathrop Letters (What is this?):  I believe strongly in the power of the written word.  Toward that end I commit to publishing a weekly Lathrop Letter every Sunday once school is started.  My intent here is to help to shine lights upon the great things that are happening in our school weekly.

    Hopefully these two pages have helped you to know a bit about who I am; my values; my commitments, and, my passion for our school and community.

     

    Let’s have a great year!

    Stuart Caldwell

    Principal – Lathrop Intermediate School

     

     

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