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Goodbye, Mr. Stites

Mr.+Adam+Stites+will+be+moving+to+Alta+Loma+High+School+at+the+end+of+the+2016-17+school+year.++Photo+by+Madison+Alvarado.
Mr. Adam Stites will be moving to Alta Loma High School at the end of the 2016-17 school year.  Photo by Madison Alvarado.

Mr. Adam Stites will be moving to Alta Loma High School at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Photo by Madison Alvarado.

Mr. Adam Stites will be moving to Alta Loma High School at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Photo by Madison Alvarado.

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After two years as COHS’s assistant principal and a semester as interim principal, Mr. Adam Stites-Hallett will be moving to Alta Loma High School after the 2016-17 school year.

Mr. Stites is one of the many faculty members that have left or will be leaving COHS, including Dr. Ivan Ayro, COHS’s former principal; Mrs. Amanda Cazares, band director; Dr. Mike Gaber, activities consultant; and Mr. Nathan Nichols, mathematics teacher.

There were multiple reasons behind Mr. Stites’s move. He is completing a doctoral program at USC in Educational Leadership and is also expecting his first child. “It’s a really tough decision to leave here. I love this school. I absolutely love this school, but [Alta Loma] is a lot closer to home,” he says.

“One of my favorite things has been walking around and seeing students at lunch, seeing the types of lives you guys are living, walking into classrooms like our Biomedical classes and seeing dissections going on and students working together,” said Mr. Stites.

The Bolt Live interviewed Mr. Stites when he was first hired, but Mr. Stites says that his experience at COHS has taught him a lot and changed him from his former self. “The skill set and knowledge that I came in with to the assistant principal job was not everything that I needed. I had to quickly learn about certain things that I did not know about. But I’ve really enjoyed my time these last four to five months being the interim principal and getting to really support the workings of our school,” he said.

As assistant principal, Mr. Stites was in charge of curriculum, instruction and the master schedule. He said, “That’s something I’m going to really miss about this group of teachers. I’ve loved working with them on the Common Core math sequence, making adjustments, creating new courses and looking at student data to see how students are doing in their classes.”

As principal, Mr. Stites has been more focused on continuing the career pathways and academies. COHS will be launching three more academies in the 2017-18 year through the National Academy Foundation: Health and Wellness, Engineering, and Information Technology.

“One of the hardest parts about this job is disappointing people, or not being able to give people what they want. Sometimes money is tight, and [I have] to prioritize things. I wouldn’t call it the ‘worst experience,’ but it’s definitely challenging,” he said. Mr. Stites says that having to close a class because of a lack of students is also difficult.

“But some of the best things–we have amazing teachers, and that interaction between teachers and students is unique to our school. Plus, I love doing the master schedule,” he says.

Mr. Stites is now preparing to help the new principal, Mr. Joey Strycula, have a smooth transition. “Everything’s in really good hands,” he said. Mr. Strycula will be taking over as principal during the summer.

We wish Mr. Stites the best in his future aspirations.

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Goodbye, Mr. Stites