Morales Announces His Departure From Sage Creek

“A Proud Principal” Cesar Morales Announces His Future Plans As a School Administrator Abroad

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Jenny Tucker, Sierra Jorden and Isabella Eiler all contributed to the reporting of this article.

Entering high school is a big change for most, and so is leaving it behind. This experience is the same for our very own principal, César Morales.

Photo taken from puntapacificreality.com
The Knightsbridge Schools International opens its halls to its upcoming new principal in the new year. The international school which is located in Panama will be the future home of our principal César Morales in the 2019-2020 school year.

Alongside the class of 2019, this will be Morales’ last year at Sage Creek. By August 1, Morales and his family will move to Central America where Morales will be acting as Director of one of the campuses of  Knightsbridge Schools International, a London-based organization with campuses in London, Portugal, Montenegro, Colombia and Panama. Morales will be the new Director of the six-year-old campus in Panama effective the end of this upcoming summer.

There was speculation of Morales departing from Sage Creek since the beginning of the school year, but it wasn’t until Wednesday, Dec. 19 that the SCHS faculty and community was given notice of Morales’ official resignation. Before hitting “send” at 6:23 p.m. that afternoon on a school-wide email titled “Campus Update,” Morales held an impromptu staff meeting at the conclusion of the school day in order to inform as many faculty members as possible that his journey with Sage Creek would soon come to an end.

Science department chair James Fieberg has worked with Morales at Sage Creek since the school was founded in 2013.

Photo screenshot taken from school-wide email to the Sage Creek community
Principal Morales tells the campus news of his soon to be departure from the Bobcat family. Morales will be moving with his family to Panama in order to help his children get a new perspective on life, as well as allow himself room to grow even more as a professional.

“I am very excited for Mr. Morales and his family and the adventure he is about to go on. Obviously, I am pretty sad [as well] because he is a great leader, and I think he will be missed at this school tremendously,” Fieberg said.

Many faculty members suspected this change would take place sooner or later and throughout the past few months, Morales has effectively communicated with the Carlsbad Unified School District about a desire for something new. In particular, CUSD superintendent Benjamin Churchill has been aware of Morales’ future career and personal goals that left Sage Creek’s students frozen on a Schoolloop email.

“We’ve known for some time that his family has had this goal of moving abroad and it was only a matter of time in terms of when that happened. It was really only within the last few days that he finalized everything and officially gave us his notification,” Churchill said.

With his official notification, Morales received a wide range of support from members of staff to the Carlsbad Board of Education. Career Technical Education department chair and biomedical sciences teacher Valerie Park has worked with Morales since the first graduating class walked among the halls as freshman. Park, alongside many of her colleagues at SCHS, feels “bittersweet” about Morales leaving and all of the change that will come from it.

“I feel like I can say for everyone that we are sad to see him go, but we totally understand that he is ready to pursue his next phase in his life, so I am happy for him,” Park said.

Simply put, an emotional wreck would probably cover [me] pretty well”

— Principal Morales

Tying up loose ends and strings of fate, the last few months have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for Principal Morales.

“It’s surreal. On the one end, [I am] very excited about the future and… at the same time, it’s emotional because we have built something pretty special on this campus. A lot of sweat, a lot of tears, a lot of joy, a lot of laughter, a lot of high fives. It’s also [about] taking the time to honor and savor that. Simply put, an emotional wreck would probably cover [me] pretty well,” Morales said.

The conflicting emotions go beyond the teachers’ desks at Sage Creek and, with the news of principal Morales leaving with the graduating class of 2019, seniors are left feeling amiss at what the future may hold for future generations of the Bobcat Nation.

Photo taken by Sierra Jorden
Morales smiling ear to ear discusses his future plans in Panama. He is looking forward to the future career change with the conclusion of this school year while continuing to value all of the time and experiences he has had at Sage Creek.

Senior class president Mary Feldmann has grown close to Morales throughout her years in Carlsbad Unified and feels ambivalent about this new change alongside the rest of her class and school as a whole.

“Personally, Mr.Morales has been a principal to people in my family for over 10 years, so I have been in a lot of close contact with him and it has been nice getting to keep him for all four years,” Feldmann said, “I think it is kind of amazing that he is taking a risk like that, to go to a country he is not familiar with and just jump into a new experience.”

So the question everyone is wondering: Who will be the new principal of Sage Creek High School as of the 2019-2020 school year?

The Carlsbad Unified School District will be posting the position publicly in February and, after interviewing all of the candidates, Churchill will choose the new principal who then will need to be approved by the district’s council. Once approved, the new principal will be announced either at the public board meeting in March or April. Although the idea of a new principal at Sage Creek can seem extremely daunting, Churchill established that CUSD plans on finding someone who instills Sage Creek’s core values.

…we want to ensure that we have the absolute best person”

— Superintendent Churchill

“At the end of the day, we want to ensure that we have the absolute best person. I’m confident… that there are people who are going to look at this and say, ‘Wow, what an amazing opportunity,” Churchill said.

Within the following months, CUSD Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Rick Grove will meet with current faculty members from Sage Creek in order to establish the traits that are desired in a new principal of the high school.

In terms of student input, Churchill affirmed that all voices are valued, especially when making a decision such as this that has a large impact on the high school community.

Photo taken from @suptchurchill
Principal Morales beams with joy as he stands alongside Superintendent Churchill. The powerful duo poses for a picture in front of the Sage Creek sign as they pay homage to Morales’ last year as the head of Sage Creek.

“If students want…  to email me some of the thoughts they have, some of the qualities they are looking for in the next principal here [at Sage Creek], I would be happy to receive those emails, review them and then take that into consideration,” Churchill said.

Change is inevitable. Change brought every member of the Bobcat Nation here to this school, whether through eighth-grade graduation or through receiving a teaching credential, all those who enter the Sage Creek campus have experienced a change in one way or another. Change built this school from the ground up and change led the previous two classes to go on and experience more change.

On June 13, the current senior class will not exclusively experience change with the conclusion of graduation. Change will bring a new freshman class and soon a new principal as well, and it will propel Morales into an adventure that he has long desired.

Through the collective rollercoaster of emotions that have overwhelmed the Sage Creek campus in regards to Morales no longer being principal, there is hope that this inevitable change can be made into a smooth transition due to all that Morales has done for the school over the past six years. Feldmann explained how the change that Sage Creek will continue to face in the upcoming school year may not be something to worry about.

“I am sad for my younger sister and the students who are here already who won’t get to have him to see out their high school experience, but I think that he has done so many good things for Sage Creek…If he was not the principal here for the time he was, we would be in a very different place right now. So I think the progress and the foundation that he has laid will be easy for anyone to pick up,” Feldmann said.

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